Bull goring drama: How Driza-Bone helped save me
PINNACLE cattle farmer Graeme Ware has been gradually recovering after his terrifying run-in with a wild bull at his property just over a month ago.
And his tale has become something of a legend out in the Pioneer Valley - Mr Ware said the Pinnacle Hotel has asked to hang the animal's head on the wall after it was killed when it charged his son's speeding quad bike head-on.
Mr Ware's mate David Oliver has also penned a poem about Mr Ware's experience, titled Dry As A Flamin' Bone, in reference to Mr Ware's hardy Driza-Bone coat torn to shreds by the bull and credited as "holding me together a fair bit after the bull got me".
"If I wasn't wearing it I reckon bits of me would have been flying everywhere," Mr Ware said.
Perhaps it's no surprise then that Driza-Bone has also contacted the 66-year-old to offer him a new coat.
Nevertheless, Mr Ware, who has been staying with family recovering after a three-week stint in Mackay Base Hospital, said he's "feeling a bit battered and bruised", but "extremely lucky".
Mr Ware's injuries included 11 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a broken shoulder, a large leg wound and a groin wound, which narrowly missed an artery.
"I certainly thought if he (the bull) kept shaking me the way he did I would have died," he said.
"He ripped me Driza-Bone completely to pieces, ripped me out of it. I firmly believe I'd be dead if I wasn't wearing that coat.
"Apparently there's not much left of my shirt either, but I'm lucky I always wear my EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) on my belt and he didn't rip it off, like my phone was.
"I've been doing exercises at home and I've got to go back to hospital every few days... I've been doing physiotherapy and a bit of counselling."
Mr Ware said he'd had "an enormous amount of support from friends and family" after the goring.
His story went far and wide after it was reported by the Mercury and other media outlets.
While Mr Ware was confident he'd heal up mostly okay, and said he was determined to get back on the farm for good, he reckons his shoulder "will probably never be 100%".
"And with the skin graft on my leg they (health professionals) say I won't be able to ride a horse for a while."
However, an angry upstart young bull won't be enough to keep Mr Ware off the farm, which he said he loved.
"Don't think I'd want to go and do anything else," he said.
Mr Ware said "the particularly bad bull" which took to him like a speeding horned train, or "Satan's Son", as the poem goes, was still "up in the paddock" after it met its maker.
"Pinnacle Pub wants to hang his head on the wall, but I don't know if I'm going to let 'em have him or not yet. (Might) keep him for myself."
Mr Ware was keen to express his heartfelt gratitude to everyone - family, friends and the wider Pioneer Valley and Mackay community - who had helped him on his path to recovery.
"Thanks to everybody who has supported me through this and continues to support me," he said.
"I can't thank the staff and everyone at Mackay Base Hospital enough for what they've done for me.
"I've just had excellent care. Teams of doctors there and nurses and I just got treated so well."
Mr Ware joked: "I was a bit disappointed when they told me I had to go home, actually".
After his interview with the Mercury, Mr Ware was looking forward to visiting his property to spend one well-deserved Sunday night at his much-loved home.
Dry As A Flamin' Bone
I WENT to a bullfight; I went there all alone,
Driving out in Mollie, wearing me dry as a flamin' bone.
Well I met that Son of Satan in a way out scrubbers' lair
In a bull yard up at Teemburra, he was waiting for me out there.
He'd brought along his girlfriend, a bit of bovine fluff;
I suppose he thought he'd show her that I couldn't call his bluff.
Well I've handled bigger flamin' bulls and meaner ones at that,
But this young up-and-comer had the footwork of a cat.
Now I know I'm getting older and I'm slowing down a tad,
But I backed myself against him, a bet I wish I hadn't had.
No referee to call time out, no bells to flamin' ring
But I'd bested better flamin' bulls, than anything like him.
He charged across that flamin' yard. I leapt behind a post.
I made it just in time I thought. I should have said, 'Almost!'
A horn came round that flamin' post and caught me fair and square
Then threw me like a bag of chaff, straight up into the air.
Well getting tossed up by a bull, it doesn't hurt to go
But waiting for me to return, was Satan's Son below.
He drove one horn into my groin, the other in my leg
And as I headed back to earth, I thought I'd just play dead.
But he didn't want to play that game; his anger had just grown.
It seemed he wanted to wear me dry as a flamin' bone.
He rammed his head upon my chest, that spawn of Satan's Son.
Broke every rib that I possessed, well all me ribs bar one.
And as I lay defeated, mangled, broken and alone
That Son of Satan donned the trophy, me dry as a flamin' bone.
He strutted to his girlfriend and she was most impressed;
No doubt she was quite taken by the way that he was dressed...
While I crawled out to Mollie, busted, bested and alone,
Pressed me 'Come and Save Me' beacon and headed back for home.
Then driving down that lonely track, came a copper I could kiss;
He said, 'Have you been drinking? Here you'd better blow in this.'
I don't remember much from there but I woke up in a bed,
With a doctor saying, 'You're a lucky man, you really should be dead.'
While up there in the Teemburra, where the scrub bulls call it home
The trophy for the winner is a Dry as a Flamin' Bone.
- David Oliver (July 6, 2016)