Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
a pouch in their skin in front of the stomach where they carry their young ones while they are still too small to get about quickly.
It is a funny sight to see the young ones when they are playing about in the open suddenly take alarm, and hop in a great hurry to their mother and take a flying leap at her chest and disappear into the bag.
A Greedy Emu
A boy is said to have the “digestion of an ostrich” because he can eat most things and not feel a pain after it; but I rather think an emu would defeat him in that line. Here is a list of trifles which, according to a newspaper account, were found inside a dead emu’s stomach – and his death was not caused by them either!
In the stomach were found four pennies and five halfpennies, nine 22-in. nails, five marbles, one pump connection, one umbrella ferrule, one key, one medal, one watch wheel (22 in. in diameter), two studs, three buttons, one safety-pin, two staples, three washers, and twenty-four pieces of broken china, while a large pin was found embedded in the liver.
The emu was only young, and was a fine specimen. He had evidently lost no time in starting a museum inside him.
The Boundary Rider
One of the important men on a sheep station in Australia is the boundary rider. He has to go daily round the fences of the “run” or farm to see that they are in good order so that the sheep do not escape.
In close country a “run” may consist of 10,000 to 18,000 acres, while in the “backblocks” it may be double that size. This, of course, means hundreds of miles of fencing. So a rider has to go long distances every day to enable him to get all round in a week.
It is a very healthy open-air life, and the rider generally takes his gun and a few half-bred greyhounds with him, and he gets lots of fun hunting down the foxes, which are very destructive to lambs, and in getting rabbits.
Sometimes, too, he has more difficult work with “sundowners.” These are men whom we should call tramps in England. Some years ago they used to go round from one farm or “station” to another looking for work, and the farmer was often glad to take a man on for a few days, especially at busy times, such as sheep-shearing, fruit-picking, or harvesting.
In any case, whether he wanted the man’s services or not, he generally gave him food and lodging for the night, because distances are great and the man had generally done a good day’s walk to reach the station; in fact, he got the name “sundowner” because he generally arrived at a station about sundown.
After a time the loafer began to find that sundowning was a nice, easy way of getting a living, so he took it up, too, without any idea of doing any work in return for his food. So now the sundowner is becoming a pest to farmers.
Very often there will be a dozen or more of these tramps to be housed and fed, and never less than two or three. So on most stations there is a shed for them and a regular ration of mutton and flour is served out to them to cook for themselves.
On a station near where I was staying the owner had done up the shed and had put in windows and doors and a floor, and had altogether made it into a rather comfortable little house.