The Dog on the Tucker Box is an Australian historical monument and tourist attraction, located at Snake Gully, approximately five miles from Gundagai, New South Wales as described in the song of the same name.
Dog on the Tucker Box – The Story
Once upon a time, in the small town of Gundagai, Australia, there was a dog who lived a simple and content life. He was a loyal and friendly companion to the town’s people, and was known for his faithful behavior.
One day, a gold rush began in the nearby hills and many people flocked to Gundagai in search of their fortunes. A bullock driver named Jack Moses was one of them. He was always on the road, hauling goods between the town and the gold fields, and the dog would often accompany him on his journeys.
One day, Jack decided to build a box to store his tucker (food) in, and placed it beside the road where he often took breaks. The dog would sit beside the box, keeping watch and barking at anyone who approached. People passing by were impressed by the dog’s loyalty and the box became known as “the Dog on the Tucker Box”.
As time passed, the story of the Dog on the Tucker Box spread far and wide, and became a symbol of the spirit of Gundagai and the Australian bush. The town even erected a statue in honor of the dog, and it became a popular tourist attraction.
Years went by, and Jack Moses passed away, but the Dog on the Tucker Box remained, guarding the box and the memory of Jack. To this day, it remains a beloved landmark in Gundagai, a testament to the loyalty of dogs and the pioneering spirit of the Australian people.
Dog on the Tucker Box – The Inscription
A nationwide competition was held to obtain a suitable inscription for the monument. The chosen inscription on the base of the monument was written by Brian Fitzpatrick of Sydney. The inscription reads:
“Earth’s self upholds this monument
“To conquerors who won her when
“Wooing was dangerous, and now
“Are gathered unto her again.”
Dog on the Tucker Box – The Poem
As I was coming down Conroy’s Gap
I heard a maiden cry:
“There goes Bill the Bullocky,
He’s bound for Gundagai.
A better poor old ———Never cracked an honest crust;
A tougher poor old ———Never drug a whip through dust.
“His team got bogged at the five mile creek,
Bill lashed and swore and cried,’
If Nobby don’t get me out of this
I’ll tattoo his ——— hide.
‘But Nobby strained and broke his yoke,
And poked out the leader’s eye;
And the dog sat in the tucker box
Five miles from Gundagai.”
So if you ever find yourself in Gundagai, be sure to visit the Dog on the Tucker Box, and pay your respects to this faithful friend and symbol of a bygone era.
A “Dog on the Tuckerbox” festival has been held each year since 1992, the 60th anniversary of the monument. In November 2005, the annual festival included a two-day Snake Gully Cup Racing Carnival and festivities at the Dog on the Tuckerbox Centre.
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