It won’t get you laid and it ain’t pretty” Don informed me.
“You don’t do it for the money, you do it for the lifestyle.”
He was right; working twelve hours a day, in a merciless sun with little cover and temperatures reaching 40+ degrees among terrified wild animals isn’t for everyone. Injuries are common among musterers; broken ribs, wrists, concussions and gorings. If an animal escaped I saw more than one friend go head to hoof with the beast to get it back.
But, there is an immense satisfaction at the end of a hard day’s work. When the animals are safe on the truck or in their pens, the dogs are fed and your telling stories round the campfire. I would do it all over again, just to see the stars.
There is an old romantic conception in the trade, of life in the saddle. It was the closest I saw too of white Australians coming to finding a connection with the land that others before them had so readily embraced.
The Northern Territory, Australia 2015.