The Travels of Mouse, Part 8

Well, here we are in St George.

It was a short and fairly boring trip here. It was raining when we left Glen Innes (no surprise there, then) and there was a slight risk of encountering a flooded road outside Moree, but Dad decided to proceed; the car is tall and 4WD and Miz Lizzie is even taller and her subframe is built for off-road. I told Dad to forget any idea of me getting out to lend a hand if we got stuck in water, though, and I think I made my point….

In the never ending quest for the Perfect Pie, Mum got Dad to stop at Annie’s Bakery in Moree, which was modestly signed ‘Bloody Good Pies’. Mum said hers was “up there”, but Dad wasn’t so impressed because he didn’t get the flavour he asked for. He couldn’t fault the flavour of the Wrong Pie, though. They also got enormous bulgy sandwiches for lunch, which the Staff later ate almost as quickly as I deal with my own dinner… Definitely one to remember, apparently.

And then it was miles and miles and miles of almost nothing. I did a lot of snoozing. Finally, the Staff made a racket as we crossed the border at Mungindi, back into Queensland, and Dad ceremoniously reset the car clock back to Proper Time. Mum cheered; she’d been keeping her watch set to Qld time so I could be fed at the time my tummy said was Mouse Dinner Time, and it made things a bit complicated when making arrangements in NSW…

One final stop before we arrived was a photo-visit to the painted silos at Thallon. Mum took some nice photos, but strangely ignored my advice about lighting and angles. She actually called my directions ‘photo-bombing’! The ingratitude! The misunderstanding of my creative input! I was forced to sulk maintain a dignified silence until we reached St George in mid-afternoon.

I was introduced to our hosts’ companions: It the cat and Ruffy George the red cattle dog (rather elderly and lame). The cat and I have an understanding; we will ignore each other in a dignified fashion. But old Ruffy follows me around everywhere, incessantly poking his nose into my privates, which is disconcerting, and while the attention is flattering, a chap wants a bit of peace and quiet to snooze without the sudden arrival of a cold wet nose to startle one unpleasantly awake. Dad and Uncle Jim have had a really good time reminiscing about Dad’s time in St George, 30 years ago when he and Uncle Jim were just pups. Mum has been listening peacefully, doing fabricky stuff with bits of paper and sharp pointy things in her paws, and says to tell you that you’ll see the results in 4 days or so. She also cleaned up the caravan, did the laundry, baked banana muffins (without giving me one – an outrage!) and prepared meals for me for the next few days. She says it’s been a nice rest, but that didn’t sound too restful to me; I insist on absolute inactivities during my snoozes…

Today we took a drive around Dad’s old haunts in St George, and he showed us a few places he’s lived, the golf course, and the bridge over the Balonne. That’s a river, which has been dry for years. Actually, six months ago, they got a grader and bashed flat a cricket pitch in the river bed and held a game there. You wouldn’t believe it now; since the rains, it’s filled bank to bank with brown, surging water, and they’re actually releasing some from the weir.

There’s a small park beside the bridge, and they’ve put up a sculpture of a Murray River Cod, made of all sorts of tools and bits of hardware. It’s very clever, if you like sculpture. They wouldn’t let me pee on it. Mum took a second, closer shot in which you can see the tail of the Cod, and behind it, water spilling out of the weir with some force. Hence the need to pee, you understand…

We’re here for another night, and then tomorrow we have a short journey of only 200km or so to Roma, our next stop. We don’t need to check out of anywhere or set off very early, so the Staff have arranged to pack up in the morning and I won’t have to spend an hour in the car waiting for everything to be put away. Hopefully Ruffy will be tied up for a while so I can leave with my dignity intact…

More from Roma.

Mouse