* Shirtfronting is a term originally coined in Australian Rules Football as an illegal challenge where a player charges another with the intent of bringing them to the ground. In lay-mans terms shirtfronting has evolved to mean challengingly pushing one’s chest out in a threatening manner. The term was popularised after a threat by a previous Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, to shirtfront Vladimir Putin regarding flight MH17 at a G20 summit.
I discovered that kangaroos mostly travel in families, and dawn and dusk is the time they tend to travel. Every dawn and dusk the 2 biggest dogs, who lived on the front porch of the house and proudly guarded all from harm, barked up a storm because a family of Roos was passing by. This mad barking only lasted while the kangaroos passed but one dusk the barking became prolonged and even more intense. I looked out to see the head of the kangaroo family was shirtfronting the dogs, his stance saying all. “Oh yeah? Come and get me, wankers”. The kangaroos eventually had their fun and passed. The dogs never strayed from the front porch unless Adam allowed them to. Adam had told me foreign dogs had been shot on farmland where sheep were kept and the neighbouring farmland was all wheat and/or sheep. Adam had lost a very much loved dog that way and did his best not to go through that experience again.
There was a big drama with another shirtfronting that involved the guard dogs. This time it was a deadly snake. One day the dogs went nuts barking all of a sudden. Adam was quickly out front with a broom warding off a black taipan. The snake was shirtfronting Adam and his weapon of choice, pushing back at the broom with vigour. Adam admitted he had never seen anything like it. He commanded the dogs inside and the snake decided to retreat. Alaska was a Irish Wolfhound mix and being white in colour Adam was able to detect that Alaska had been bitten. Poor old brave Alaska was rushed to the vet and was able to recover, although it took months of therapy. Adam knew the snake would come back the next year reckoning it was after the dogs water and, considering the time of year, had probably just come out of hibernation. The house was surrounded by a creek yet that snake seemed to prefer its water in a bowl. Adam was right. That snake did come back and Adam was waiting and ready. The ensuing battle ended as intended, one dead snake.
This city gal had a lot to learn as I was clueless about country life, and the lovely Adam knew I was clueless and patiently filled me in. I was curious and he was informative. Did you know some anthills in Australia are flat? I found out the hard way. Also, one always needs to watch where they step when outdoors as there are rabbit and fox holes aplenty, and the wildlife also shit a lot. You also had to be mindful of standing on some of the wildlife. Another thing I learnt was to always keep your petrol tank full when you live in one of the driest parts of Australia. One might need to leave in a hurry and you never know how far you’ll need to go.
Country life is definitely different to that of the city, that’s for sure… In Australia, anyway.