The Indian Hawker
RON KERR – reminiscences of a working drover
The Indian Hawker
He had a covered wagonette, with two horses to the pole.
He plied his trade were he could get, with the items that he sold.
Dark skin, sharp feature, of Indian origin, said he was a hawker.
And worked around this region, would camp down by the swamp.
If there was anything, that we would want.
Our Cook, said he would go down to see this Indian,
And what he had for sale.
We could do with some curry, and a need for new towels.
Back within the hour, eyes shining like glass had got some good gear.
Costing half his brass.
There was some Indian curry, a shining silk shirt,
Bought myself a turban that doesn’t show the dirt.
Reaching for hip pocket, got out some home made Rum,
“Has it got a jolt.?” Have a nip. Snowy, as he took a gulp,
Blinking his eyes, saying, “ it is a 240 volt.”
Next morning we tried that curry; it would take the hair off a dog. Snowy had tears running down his face,
Saying his eyes were full of fog,
” Can’t eat that stuff”, he said, ” It is too bloody hot,
Douse it with water before it eats the arse out of the pot.”
Cook said, “I may have put too much in, for it’s sure got a bite,
I will use a little less and try again tonight.”
Snowy saying “Make a lot less, and water down that homemade brew,
For it’s strong enough to make a willy-wagtale fight a bloody Emu.”
The Indian showed Cook some herbs, and he had quite a few,
That he had never seen or heard of before.
The Hawker, saying you soon get use them in time.
Snowy said them Indians, must have guts, like caste iron,
If it’s anything like that curry and brew.
The trials and errors, must have poisoned quite a few,
It’s got me beat, how the Indians became sires,
That stuff is strong enough to set your shirttails on fire.
IN THIS SECTION:
- Working Drover
- Water Tank Literature
- Last droving trip
- Life as a Drover
- Further Correspondence
POETRY FROM RON KERR