Gundagai’s Dog on the Tuckerbox was first introduced into verse in the period when pioneers travelled in bullock wagons, pushing their way into the vast unexplained interior of Australia. In the early days, back over a hundred years ago, Gundagai was then, as today the chief “port of call” one the main highway between Sydney and Melbourne.
A favourite camping ground of the teamsters was the Five Mile Creek on the same highway, where the monument now stands. It was there that occurred an incident that inspired the bard to write the original Tucker Box poem.
A faithful friend, the guardian of the teamster’s possessions, a dog accompanied every wagon that pushed inland. It was the action of one such dog in spoiling food stuff whilst he sat on a tuckerbox, that so amused the poet he wrote……..
Good morning mate, you are too late,
The shearing is all over,
Tie up your dog behind the log
Come in and have some dover.
For Nobby Jack has broke the yoke,
Poke out the leader’s eye
And the dog-in the tucker box,
Five miles from Gundagai
The original doggerel was crude and vulgar, and verse after verse ran on depicting incidents along the track that leads to Gundagai.
I can’t say I understand the above verse and I expect I am not alone.