Patch: A Shorty Story of a Boy, a dog and an Uncle
1512 Words7 Pages
This journey had been anything but amusing. I have never been in a truck. This old or this size. Ever. The whole experience seems to come with more pain and discomfort then necessary. I am young and here? I’m no expert in what we are about to undertake.
It’s a combination of my uncles driving skills, the dusty roads, constant pot holes, cattle grids, silence and open space that’s making this seem strange. The radio is just static. My uncle is just stoic. My hand is resting on patch. We both like the contact, Patch the mongrel, Mitch the problem child. Where kindred spirits now.
The constant grinding of gears, shuffled downwards to slow our descent into gullies and seemingly crunched with equal gusto to accelerate up and over them. Leads to more dust, pot holes, and cattle grids. Seemingly endless. The sun has been up for some time now.
I have no idea where we are. This road will be on a map somewhere. But this adventure was devised by my father and his sister. I am somewhere in the Queensland outback. I know where the closet town is. I had formulated and escape plan a week ago.
You would die of heat exhaustion or thirst before walking there. And there are no signs on this road.
I think of the movie ‘ Cool Hand Luke’. My plans have been foiled. I have begun my dam de silting career!
Getting into the passenger’s seat in the dark this morning had been easy enough. Much like any vehicle. Patch waited as I got in. I smacked my hand on my leg. Twice. She jumped up easily and settled quietly in what once may have passed for the sleeper? I check she’s ok. It’s too dark in the cab to see her properly, she tries to lick my face. I push her away gently.
My uncle “David Smith” by marriage. Also comes to the passenger door and begi...
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...etely slipped my mind. She’s mine.
I never did get used to the Tonka toy bull dozer I had to drive. But I did love patch sitting beside me sharing the old seat. Shed bark and shake hands and look at me, lick me. I was feeding her by then though. I loved her.
I was a different person when I went back home and started grade 10. I finished grades 11 and 12.
I remember when I left, my uncle reminded me as I got on the grey hound bus. We had become friend after those 6 week of de silting.
“She was a working dog, never forget that”. He shook my hand, my aunty hugged me and my country family watched my bus roll onto the highway.
Back at ‘Mr Bainbridge’s’ homestead. Patch sat on that little dozer and wouldn’t move for a week. She wasn’t a working dog anymore.
I cried all night, when my ‘Uncle Dave’ told me what he had to do. Every things has to pay its way in the outback.