Poetry from Bessie Jennings: The farm on Yippin Creek.

Farming shed (not Yippin Creek). Photo: Pexels.
Farming shed (not Yippin Creek). Photo: Pexels.

This lush green Hastings Valley where the cedars used to grow, is where our people settled on selections long ago.

I sat beside our granny and I sometimes heard her speak, of how a man called Albert came to live by Yippin Creek.

When Albert married Sarah Jane he built their little shack, with split-slab walls and shingle roof beside the bullock track.

He cleared the scrub with axe and mattock, burning off the trash; and fenced the clearing, planting corn to grow a crop for cash.

The water in the creek was pure; the ferns and grass were green. The magpies warbled sweetly and the scented air was clean.

Fair Sarah cooked; she milked the cow; made butter once a week. She loved the peace and quiet of their home on Yippen Creek.

Their labour was rewarded when they harvested the corn, about the time their baby son young Samuel was born.

Proud Albert kissed his Sarah Jane and stroked the baby's cheek, and laid him in a home-made crib, at home beside the creek.

He built a bridge, for times when floods submerged their gravel track. More children came; more rooms were added to their little shack.

They slowly built a dairy herd; the cows grew fat and sleek. The family was prospering, out there on Yippin Creek.

They bought a horse and sulky; once a week they drove to town, to buy supplies and visit friends, and show off Sarah's gown.

While driving home at milking time, if she should chance to speak, she'd purr with pleasure to her Albert "Ah! back on the creek!"

The children played, and went to school. They helped to run the farm. They grew in strength of character, and strong of back and arm.

They chatted with the magpies, just as though the birds could speak; the kids fished in the river, and went swimming in the creek.

So generations come and go and on the farm today the little shack is just a shed for storing bales of hay.

Around the shed the children run; they're playing hide-and-seek; a place for love and laughter still - the farm on Yippin Creek.