They rode across the heavy clay soil that was rich in Mitchell grass and interspersed with gidgee, small shrubs. Cattle grazed contentedly ignoring the women as they rode past
“Tell me about your life here.”
“Work starts before sunrise and often continues after sunset. Mustering is the big challenge here in winter. Mobs need to be brought in, that can be many nights under the stars. Out there,” Jo pointed around her, “trees, roos, wild pigs break fences, I mend them. I’m also good at fixing machinery, branding and tending to sick animals. Of course, the real sick ones are shot if the vet can’t make it.”
“You love it here?”
“Yeah, too right!” Jo took in every inch of Donna.
Jo pointed to interspersed gidgee, a small type of Acacia tree than grew no more than twelve feet in height.
“Those gidgee trees can be poisonous to cattle at certain times of the year.”
“Like you might be to me?”
“Donna, there’s another side to me. See those gum trees by the creek. I often just ride there and read.’
“Race you, there!” Donna yelled out without warning.
Donna spurred her horse manoeuvring through Mitchell and Flinders grasses. Jo took the challenge and was surprised at the other woman’s horse skills. She saw the oneness of rider and horse. This woman was full of surprises.
As Jo closed the gap between her and Donna, their laughter and the sound of hooves, startled grazing kangaroo. The red boomers bounded across the landscape and in their wake, hundreds of small seed eating birds rose from the grasses. These in turn, caused parrots to take off from adjoining desert oaks and eucalypt gum trees. The air was filled with squawks and whistles. Donna felt exhiliration, she could not remember when she had let herself have this much fun.
Jo overtook Donna in a whooping fashion. She reached the billabong first and let her brown chestnut, Matilda, drink at the large lake. She ran over to a smooth sandalwood tree, put her hat over her eyes and pretended to snore. Within minutes, Donna dismounted and walked with her horse to the water. Jo suddenly woke up in a theatrical style and called out.
“Ah, you eventually made it!”
Donna laughed, “Had to stop at Maccers on the way; the horse needed a McDonald burger.”
Jo took in the woman’s body lingering on her eyes, lips and stopping at her breasts. Unsure of her next move, Jo patted the earth between her open legs.
“Come and sit here.”
Donna saw Jo’s crotch and the patting hand on the earth. She let her eyes travel, and she watched Jo unbutton her shirt. The outline of firm breasts caused Donna to catch her breath.
“No.” Donna called out.
“Can’t you hear my words. I said, NO!”
“Donna, your words and eyes don’t match.”
“Your eyes want me and I want you!”
The young aboriginal took off her hat, filled it with water and dumped it over her head and body. She stood up with her back to Jo, stroking the sweating black mare and breathing in the equine smell. Nature was full of exotic smells and sensations. To be fully alive was to be fully in touch with the earth.