Over the next couple of weeks the work continued. Once we had our uprights the holes were dug and the posts placed in them. Rocks were found and jammed in at the base and then ramming earth around them packing it in tight around the posts they eventually seemed as solid as if we had used cement. The remaining trees were split in two and formed the rails for the yards, being placed with enough distance from each other so that if we needed to escape quickly from a beast they were easy to climb. The thought of this did not make me feel any better about the role I was to play in our future cattle dealings.
The yard was a square with a gate through which the cattle would be herded in from the paddocks. Another gate led into the race and crush. From the crush the cattle could exit back into the paddock or divert up the ramp for loading into the truck. After delivery of the crush, construction of the ramp began. The ramp, constructed in the same fashion as the yards, with the only difference being, the differing height posts used to get the incline. Darrell had chosen a number of trees that were similar diameter which were then cut to the exact length to fit snugly between either side of the support posts. These were then cut exactly in half and the rounded side placed uppermost. This corrugated effect would help the cattle climb the slope to the truck without slipping. An unexpected advantage of the ramp was we now had a place in the shade that we could sit and have a break. The sun was relentless.
“Yuse got to plant some trees round the yard. Youse gotta have shade when you got cattle locked in ‘n’ makes it better to work. If you buy some trees something like an Aussie Willow. Grows quick ‘n’ give good shade. Or just drive round and pull a couple of branches off a that tree with the red flowers. Stick em in. They’ll grow but not as fast.”
We were now ready, in Darrell’s opinion, to purchase the bull.