Page:Bush Studies (1902).djvu/89

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then faced round to the hut, and, baaing disconsolately, trotted a few paces back. From the water's edge the mother ewe called. The lamb looked at her vacantly, and without interest descended. The ewe bent and drank sparingly, meaningly. The lamb sniffed the water, and, unsatisfied, complained. The hut was hidden, but it turned that way. Again the ewe leisurely drank. This time the lamb's lips touched the water, but did not drink. Into its mouth raised to bleat a few drops fell. Hastily the mother's head went to the water. She did not drink, but the lamb did. Higher up, where the creek was dry, they crossed to tender grass in the billabong, then joined the flock for the first time.

Through the thicker mist that afternoon a white tilted cart sailed joltingly, taking its bearings from the various landmarks rather than from the undefined track. It rounded the scrub, and the woman, with her baby, kept watch for the first glimpse of her home beyond the creek. She told her husband that there was no smoke from the nearer shepherd's hut, but despite his uneasiness he tried to persuade her that the mist absorbed it.

It was past sundown, yet the straggling unguarded