Up North working the neighbour’s calves

One of those mixed farm forty cow
no corral kind of operations
good folks though and they help us out

We’re branding and cutting and vaccinating
in a lean-to off the barn in shit eight inches deep

No room for a horse or a rope
so you just have to grab those calves
and throw them down right side up
so they’re dry enough to brand

The farmer’s son loses his grip on a catch
and the calf tries to bolt past me

I turn quick, grab the head and come ‘round
fast to where the farmer stands flat footed
with that big syringe in his hand
needle pointed forward

Into my shoulder, skin, flesh and the bone
dumping the whole shot of multi-task

The next day the arm hurts bad
and it doesn’t look too good

So we drive down to Mossbank
to see the old Aussie flying doctor
who must have gotten off course
to land in Saskatchewan

He gives me some medicine
and says come back in three days

I say I’ll probably be fine by then
and it’s sixty miles round trip

He says “don’t worry mate
you’re vaccinated for shipping fever”

And I’ve been traveling ever since