' The Ragman's Serenade tells the story of four families- one from North Shields and the other three from Wallsend. It is a story of relationships- The Davis family are up to their eyes in debt - The Stewart family have a daughter who has downs syndrome– The hagarths who’s husband owns a bookmakers shop and his wife is a midwife at the RVI- and the Higginbottom's have a father with the on set of Alzheimer's. How do they cope - read this fascinating story i'm sure you will enjoy.


114. 114

“No, I will let you mate.’

 Will and Liz took aim as they neared the animals then they both fired the first shot took down the first kangaroo then the other buckled after it.’

“Good shot said Tom.’

“Both animals were dead when the truck reached them.’ They were huge things and Tom was surprised at the size of them. Tom jumped down from the truck and the back of the truck was opened and the two animals lifted on board they piled them one on top of the other. They lay there, big glassy eyes staring back at them vacantly

“One each there mate said Mick as he directed him to the left as they got nearer some hills Mick told him to stop. They walked slowly and quietly up to the top of the hill then Mick told them to stay low.’

“Look to your right about sixty yards away.’

“I see said Tom, it’s a deer in the long grass.

“Here Tom take a shot said Liz as she handed him the rifle with a telescopic sight.’

Take your time breathe out slowly and squeeze the trigger gently. Aim for the chest it’s a larger target to hit.

Tom lay on his belly with his legs flat to the ground he sighted the rifle on the target as it stood eating the grass. Then two of them came into view, both doe’s. He then got his eye on the stag it was big.’ The velvet on its antlers was hanging loose a sure sign that the deer would be shedding them soon. It looked around sniffing the air. It couldn’t see them from where they were hiding but he was alerted by something.

Tom focussed on the stag he took a deep breath then let it out slowly then looking through the sight he zoomed in on a shot between the front two legs the patch of white there was a good target. And he squeezed the trigger and the gun went off. Two shots followed at the doe’s as they tried to flee.

The shot seemed to hit the deer high up in the neck area as its legs just buckled and it dropped to the ground.’

“Got him said Tom as he ran across with Mick and his father to where the beast was lying.

“You got him with a heart shot Tom, well done.’

He’s a biggun’ isn’t he, it’s going to take the four of us to lift him onto the truck.

“Plenty of meat on him to last us a while said Mick.’

We will skin them here and bury the entrails.’

“Why do you do that?

“So you don’t get other predators looking for them. We don’t want wild cats here.’

Mick took out his knife and Will had a carrier bag as mick expertly removed the heart and liver of the beast. The smell wasn’t for the feint hearted as the stomach and intestines were then removed. Will began to dig a huge hole in the ground nearby it was at least four feet deep. The entrails of the deer and the kangaroos went into the hole then they were quickly buried. “We won’t get wrong for shooting these will we asked Matty?’

“No, not on your own land.’

“Winter is good here for wild geese and duck said Mick.’ They fly in to graze and its then that we lie in wait for them. We usually get at least sixty birds and they go into the freezer for Christmas. We had duck and goose last year. Frankie let us come up here every year and we brought him enough meat to last him until the following year.’

They drove back to Micks where the animals were skinned and then butchered expertly and shared out.

“Frankie has a freezer in the basement of the house if you freeze each joint of meat separately then date them they will see you for a few Barbie’s to come mate.’

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