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The life of a sawggie
By Barb Mac
Friday, May 11, 2012

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A brief story about the life of an Australian swaggie

 The Life of a swaggie


                Each morning a swaggie wakes by the fire he set the night before, the billy is still hanging over the fire, he stokes the coals to warm the fire. Gathering a little more wood to warm the morning air the fire blazes away again and the billy warms. He ventures down to the creekbed in search of a little water for a wash while the billy warms, thoughts of damper dunked in the billied tea make him hungry. The icy water makes him hurry back to his camp for his warm billied tea and damper.


                With breakfast over he rolls up his swag ready,  his swag packed and the fire out he is ready to hit the road again, a road he has walked many times before over and over looking for work where he can find it. The leather now is wearing thin on the soles of his shoes, he can now feel the stones as he walks over them. He tells himself, "When I stop tonight I must find something to line my shoe with." Following the sun by day, the moon and the stars by night. Tall and proud he walked carrying his belongings over his shoulder, hat tilted over his brow protecting his eyes from the sun. Droplets of sweat escape from under the brim of his hat and roll down his cheek. Raising his hand to grabbed a hanky to wipe his cheek, to busy walking to cease and wipe. Too many miles to cover.


                Night time approaches after a long day on the road, the shade of a giant gum tree approaches by a creekbed flush with water. He never wanted for anything only a little work now and then, to restock his swag. His swag contained his life's belongings a frypan, a billy to boil his tea, the makings of damper, tea which was gold to a swaggie. Gathering firewood to make his camp, boil the billy and make damper. The sun slowly sets and the moon rises over head as the billy boils, smell of damper cooking in the coals rises into the air. Stars that belong to night glow while the billy warms, warming his thoughts of the night ahead. Freshly baked damper is now ready to eat completes his day. Under the Southern cross a swaggie rolls out his swag, content with his belly full his day is almost complete. Drowsiness now creeps over him as he lay down uner the stars and places his hat over his eyes, sleep is now upon him.





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