Thorn Station

I've been asked—told more like it—to talk about our home. My sons said as the elder it's my responsibility to share what's what. You'd think at my age they'd let me be. Doesn't look like I'll be resting until I'm in my grave.

Our station is located in the southern part of the Northern Territory. That's south of Alice for you foreigners. We're north of the little town Durora. The hell I used to raise in Alice and Durora! But those stories are for another time. You people want to hear about the station.

Australian dust devil

Our home is spread over 70.000 acres of the finest land on God's earth. These people called anthropologists say the outback is the oldest land around. They say Neanderthals originated on our land. Isn't that something?

Well, I don't know about dinosaurs or those ape men. But I know who established Thorn Station back in 1851. His name was Jules Thorn. The second son of an English earl. Stories tell he was as mean as any snake. And faster too. Now, we may not be among the biggest Australian stations but we're sure-as-shit among the oldest. Bloody proud of the fact, too.

Thorn station is a working station. We muster cattle and herd sheep for a living. We also have foreigners come and go to "experience" the workings of an outback station. I don't know whose idea this was. But it sure-as-shit wasn't mine. We work our arses off while they pretend to be jackaroos. Most of them have never been on a horse before. Bloody pitiful. Out here in bush country a bloke knows how to put a good horse to work. You've got to be strong as an ox. Be able to handle a gun and knife. We know how to survive in this frontier.

Things you should know before making arrangements for a trip out here. Don't come if you're scared of spiders, snakes, or dingoes. Don't come if you don't like big open spaces. Don't come if you like crowds. We don't have any. We're what's called isolated. I've seen the sheer vastness of nothing scare a grown man as much as a plate-size spider. Bloody pitiful, if you ask me.


And for crying out loud, don't come to the outback if you can't hold your beer. Remember we like our barbies. This means fires. Drunkards fall into fires. And snakes... Well, you pull your prick out in the bush to piss, you never know what might lunge out at you. Truth is, if you get injured out here we've got to cart your careless arse out by birdie.

So you think twice before coming. It takes a special kind of spirit to visit, let alone live out here. We're what's called modern day pioneers with bullwhips, motorbikes, and bush planes. It doesn't matter if you're a sheila or bloke. If you don't have a brass pair, think about taking a holiday some place cozy like a cruise where your arse will be waited on.

Now, I don't mean to discourage any of you foreigners. I like it when beautiful sheilas arrive for a holiday. I'm old, not dead. I'm just thinking of your welfare.

Michael Thorn (b. 1936)

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