POETRY: Tammy the Timber Cutter’s Dog

It is time my little friend.

By Neil Halpin

IN the Peachester area of southeast Q,

Lived a timber cutter, known by many, known by few.

Neville, the cutter, a quiet man, and a friend for years,

Worked the bush well and had no peer.

He worked alone except for his bush friend,

Her name was Tammy, a dog, an absolute Godsend!

Now Tammy, the blue healer had a tradition to defend,

Would snap and snarl and carry on no end.

Her ‘beef’ was not with people you see,

It was with Nev’s chainsaw when at full speed.

She would attack the saw bar at the front end,

Obviously thinking that it really was not a friend.

With saw dust flying and Nev bent at the knees,

His aim was to safely fell selected trees.

As the size of the trees did seriously vary,

It was necessary to use a saw of size that seemed large and scary.

Now, to Tammy, size did not really matter,

As her one aim was to stop that noisy chainsaw chatter.

Nev was never sure why, perhaps jealously he surmises,

As only Tammy new, for when the saw started, there were no surprises.

She would fly in and bite at the chain and bar as it cut through a tree,

Sometimes nerves got to her, and she would stop for a ‘pee’.

Ever relentless in her pursuit to the end,

Nev knew that, one day there would be damage to his little friend.

It did happen and when she finally caught the chain,

Nev, immediately knowing that his little mate would be in pain.

He stopped and dropped the saw as blood he could see,

but finding her in the bush was a considerable difficulty.

When he did and picked her up, he could quickly see,

That damage was little, and it was all about sympathy.

The little nick to the jaw did not stop the rot,

As Tammy quickly picked up where she left off.

I write this story with a picture so clear,

Of a little blue dog who lived many a year.

It was not the saw that got her in the end,

Just nature saying, ‘it is time my little friend’.

As a footnote, I had the pleasure of working with Neville and Tammy on occasion over the years during my times in State Forest native forest management. At the time of writing, March 2021, Neville is a very pleasant 80-year-old and proud of his achievements in bringing the sawn product of wood to the public. His family still own and operate a sawmill at Peachester on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland.