The Trainee Ringer – Terry Bennetts

The Trainee Ringer – Keith Lethbridge/Terry Bennetts

I met him at the bus stop of a far west Queensland town;
He wore a big Akubra hat, just like a ringer’s crown;
With R M Williams’ riding boots, and shoulders broad and straight,
So I looked him up and down and said: “How are ya, mate?”

And though the buckle on his belt was gleaming in the sun,
This little Aussie battler wasn’t fooling anyone.
His eyes were full of distant dreams, a lad of tender years,
But it’s hard to be a bushman when you’re wet behind the ears.

He seemed a bit reluctant to discuss his work out back,
Of men and dogs and horses, moving cattle down the track.
Perhaps he found it very tough to candidly confess
He was just a trainee ringer from his local C E S.

But pretty soon he opened up, and said the life was hard,
And how he came to break his leg, while drafting in the yard.
He spent a month in traction, but now was heading back,
There wasn’t much on offer, so he’d have another crack.

And toiling on the station, was a pleasure on the whole,
He’d never make a fortune, but it kept him off the dole.
So I shook his hand and wished him luck, and meant it from the heart,
He wasn’t quite a ringer, but he surely looked the part!

Now out beyond Cloncurry where the rivers all run dry,
Where kite-hawks glide in circles through the never ending sky,
He’s out there tailing cattle in the early morning glow,
And I met him at the bus-stop, nearly twenty years ago.
Yeah I met him at the bus-stop, nearly twenty years ago.


The Trainee Ringer written by Terry Bennetts and Keith Lethbridge

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