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Short Story - Australian Life and Culture

  • Date Submitted: 11/07/2011 01:22 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 78.4 
  • Words: 955
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Fenced In

Name: Patrick Dwyer

Daniel looked out over the valley, its banks scarred from years of erosion and drought. “Nearly there mate,” consoled Daniel’s father, his voice hoarse from working under the baking sun. Daniel turned to follow his father to the next fencepost. It seemed that it was always that way; he was forever following in his father’s steps, never making his own path. His gaze followed the fence line, as it wound its way around the 550 acre property. Daniel’s father, Mick, had inherited the cattle station from his father, who in turn had inherited it from his father. It seemed the menace was hereditary; like a burden being passed from generation to generation.
Daniel took the wire his father was handing to him. Mick then beckoned towards a short stretch of rusty fence that made its way into the gully. “Do ya’ reckon you can finish off this lot, son?” Daniel nodded as he always did. “Good on ya’ mate, I knew you wouldn’t let me down.”   Daniel loved his father and would hate to see him struggle but where would it all end?   This responsibility to carry on the family name; to keep replacing the fence posts that his forefathers had dug.   Daniel grabbed the pliers and began straining the wires and straightening the wayward posts with the crowbar.   His muscles ached and his hand stung from the barbed wire that had pierced the skin on his palm.   The toil that had dominated Daniel’s family for generations was wearing him down; surely, Daniel thought, there must be a different way.
Daniel wasn’t like most teenagers; he had short, red hair for starters, and only three mates from school although he only ever saw them once or twice a year.   They’d all left school early; it was the norm around these parts.   Daniel always felt that teachers didn’t care about his results as they expected him to take on the farm like his mates.   If only he had the confidence to look beyond the farm fence and explore the world that he’d only ever seen on TV.   He loved...

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