by Year 7, Concordia Lutheran College, Queensland, Australia

Once upon a time there was a poor girl called Dustyella. She did not have gleaming blonde hair; instead she had dusty, crispy, burnt skin and scruffy hair that was poking out everywhere. Her mother had died in a farming accident and since that day her dad had been very lonely and a little neglectful of poor little Dustyella. So, he had re-married an evil, cruel cow-hand, thinking she was just a 'good old stick' and would be good for his daughter. She, unfortunately, had two just as evil daughters. Dusty's dad had to go on the annual cattle drive over to Gooniwongal bush, which was hundreds of miles away.
"Daddy please don't go!" cried Dusty.
"I have to," replied dad, "We need the money."

Dusty sighed and sadly dragged her boots through the dust and scrub calling to her dog (Cattle Dog) 'Bessy'. She got on her quad bike and Bessy jumped up next to her. She drove down to the mail box and found there was something for her! It was from her friend Oscar who was her best friend from Billabong Grove. He was her neighbour there three years ago. What happy days they were! It was an invitation to the Bush Dance. She screamed with happiness jumped on the Quad Bike and sped off without the dog!

She picked out her dustiest farm shirt, jeans and riding boots. It was the night of the Bush dance, she pulled them on and ran to the door. Her nasty step mum stopped her and pushed her step sisters through the door instead.

"You're not going to the bush dance!" the evil step mother snarled. Bessy the cattle dog snarled too! Dusty ran to her room and looked for the invitation. It wasn't there! She ran to the step sister's room and on the ground was the crumpled invitation. She pulled off the shelf a snow globe of the Shack and threw it at the window. Smash, tinkle, tinkle! The window cracked open and Dusty jumped through and out straight to her waiting quad bike and roared off into the night to the Bush dance.

She got there and met up with Oscar, her prince (old next-door neighbour). She saw he was dancing with the eldest ugly step sister. But when he saw Dusty he immediately unlinked his arm and ran to her and asked her to dance. They danced and danced the night away, their boots pounding on the old creaky boards as the fiddles and guitars twanged into the night air.

It was midnight so quickly and she was really tired from all the shearing she had to do that day. Suddenly her evil step mother was just about to grab her so Dusty made off and hopped on her quad bike. Just before the motor started up the jealous evil step sister grabbed her foot. She screamed and her boot was left in the dust. She rode off as fast as she could back to her shack, glad to be home and promptly went to bed.

Her neighbour Oscar was packing up after the Bush Dance and found her boot. Next day he tried the stinky, brown, muddy riding boot on every young jillaroo all over town, hoping to find his shoeless princess. But no one claimed it. Sadly he finally made his way to Dusty's farm to return the generator he had borrowed. He stomped on the veranda boards and called out !

Dusty had been snoring loudly; she snorted and crawled slowly out of her swag to answer the door. He put the boot on her grubby little foot and it was a snug and smelly fit. He hugged her and said "I knew it was yours."

A year passed, then two, then three years and they married each other at the old dusty shed and lived happily ever after!

Bush dance A country dance usually held in a wool shearing shed on an outback property/ farm. They are noisy affairs with folk fiddles, guitars, hay bales and lots of food and drink and lots of dancing on old wooden floor boards.
Coo-ee Cattle drive: in Australia because it is so dry out west, the cattle stations (farms) are huge in size and sometimes even then, the cattle have to be herded across the country to take them to market and feed them along the way. So cattle farmers can be away from home many weeks and months sometimes looking for feed for the cattle as they take them to market.
Coo-ee a loud call to attract attention.
Cow-hand person who works with cows/cattle.
A good old sticka nice person.
Jillaroo a girl who works on a farm, a general farm hand who can ride a horse, round up cattle, or sheep and generally work all the jobs on an out west cattle station.
Quad bikea four wheeled motorbike for travelling over rough ground and up and down hills. Farmers use them to round up cattle and sheep and they can fit their cattle dogs on the front and back. .
Scrubslang for bushland, land sparsely covered by vegetation.
Shearingact of cutting off a sheep's fleece.
Swagsleeping bag or bed roll that is waterproof and rolls up into a tight neat bedroll that you can carry on your back..