The Shearers


Ready for the first run,
each man brings his own jewelery. Combs and cutters for the handpiece. The rest of the machinery
belongs to the owner of the shed. They wear flannel shirts to absorb the sweat, and special boots without nails
because soon the boards will become greasy, and a slip with a racing handpiece
could mean a wicked gash. Some of the boys make their own
moccasins, as they call them, out of sacking. [Orchestral music plays] [Sound of generator cranking over and starting] [Bell rings} Perce and Steve are both out to be ringer of the shed, the man with the best daily tally. [Handpieces buzz as sheep are shorn] The wool rollers can take it easy
for a little longer as they wait for the first fleece. In this game more haste means less feel,
and damaged sheep as well. It looks effortless,
without ??? of bent backs and concentration on the clean
long swing of that strong right arm They’re mighty glad to fall into bed. It’s Perce that’s the first wool away, but that’s only one sheep of the
many that he and and Steve will shear today. The ??? and rollers can’t smoke now If the ??? isn’t kept clear
there will be roars from the shearers. So the fleece has come over the rolling
tables at the rate that keeps the rollers hard at work tearing off the dirty edges. The aristocrat of the
shearing shed is the wool classer. A highly-paid expert who sorts the
length of staple, texture and strength. He’s a key man in maintaining the
world reputation of fine Australian wool. The presser has one of the
toughest jobs in the shed, he gets paid according
to the weight of wool he presses. Over it comes. Now he has to squeeze the contents of the
top and bottom boxes together into the bail. [Sound of bail machine cranking over] And there it is, three hundred and fifty pounds
of the world’s best wool.

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