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Synopsis

“SHEEPSHIT ON THE BRAIN” is a light-hearted volume describing the lifestyle of a sheep-shearer plying his trade on the outback shearing stations of Australia. The main theme throughout the book is the spirit of competition that exists between the shearers as they toil away at their craft, day after day, often in very trying conditions. This spirit of competition creates an atmosphere that changes what could become a very monotonous job into something to look forward to each day, the ambition to shear more sheep in the day than his workmates creating an atmosphere of intense concentration. For a smaller person, cunning must be employed much of the time to out-manoeuvre a bigger, stronger adversary in this struggle. This volume contains tales of Kens experiences as he battled to “Keep off the chain”. Being on the chain, i.e., the slowest shearer in the team was not a place anyone wanted to be. There are also descriptions of the enjoyment to be found, wandering the outback wilderness, enjoying the freedom of the life and the companionship of good mates. A glossary is included to help the reader understand the language of the sheds. About the Author: Ken Prato has spent some forty five years of his working life working as a sheep-shearer in every state of Australia. This experience qualifies him to tell the stories of the sheds as a hands-on participant in his chosen industry. Many letters from old retired shearers who have read his chronicle attest to the authenticity of his tales: “Thanks for telling our story the way it should be told” - John, Horsham, Vic. “Thanks for stirring up the memory. Ill dream Im in a shearing team tonight” - Bob, 83 years. As each shearing season ended, Ken would need to find a low-key job in some other industry to carry him through the “off-season”. The experiences working in various other environments, factory worker, truck driver, builders labourer, bus driver, etc. etc. have provided lots of anecdotes for future tales. Watch this space!

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