Friday 15 February 2008

Country Life

As I sit and type, I can hear the mechanical grinding and clanging of an old, but trusty slasher, dodging the many pot-holes as it cuts the grass in the paddock next door to our house.

The thing I love so much about the country is the way one can barter, or perform favours, and often – well – just do something for someone because you want to. Such is the case with one of our locals – Michael, the guy doing the slashing. The Machinist had offered to pay him to cut the grass in our paddock. “What makes you think I want to charge you?” Michael asked.

“I’m used to paying”, the Machinist responded.

I have to chuckle, because every now and then, the slasher blades will hit a high point and it sounds like Mother bashing the gong to call her children home for lunch. Sometimes, it seems that odd items actually ‘grow’ in the long grass next door. Items that were probably lost long ago seem to surface after so many years and present themselves, proudly and nobly, just as a set of sharpened mechanical blades happen to whir over them.

So far, we’ve found and old whistle, numerous medicine, beer, and apothecary bottles, a man’s bracelet ( a human-looking bone was unearthed next to the bracelet), old tins, animal skulls, rusty tools, bricks, thick, wooden fence stumps (that weren’t there at the last Cutting of the Grasses) and oil / petrol cans.

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