Featuring 40 or so tall tales - most true, some not-so-true, but all entertaining and illustrated by New Zealand's best known country cartoonist and artist, David Henshaw. A note from the authors : Hard times and hard lives generate hard-case characters, and with them go a host of yarns. The Waikato is no exception. Tucked away beneath the veneer of success, green pastures and four-wheelers there is a background of years of hard labour and drudgery often rewarded by ongoing poverty. A generation or two down the track we all benefit from the sheer bloody-minded persistence of those families who turned peat swamps and untrackable hills into the multimillion-dollar dairy and sheep farms that now dominate the whole area. Those pioneers, and the more recent Waikato characters, have left behind a fair bunch of stories. There is an old saying that if you didn't laugh you'd just sit down and cry. I have no doubt that the latter happened fairly often. But there was a lot of laughter, and people got up to stuff that any author could simply not imagine or make up. So all the stories are, of course, true. Well, some of these yarns are true. Some are bull dust. Some lurk somewhere in between.
And if they are not exactly and precisely true ...they are the stuff that time and the telling have made into legends. If you wonder, as you read, never overlook the fact that there is a very high probability that they just might be an entirely factual account of what happened that day. This book is a tribute to those who persisted, made mischief and laughed and, at the end of the day, made it all happen.
David Henshaw's drawings of rural life will be known and loved by all country people. He's known to New Zealanders through his famous cartoon character "Jock". These cartoons appeared in The NZ Farmer for many years where his outstanding knowledge, appreciation, and affection of farm and rural life was conveyed in his warm-hearted and recognisable cartoons. Graham McBride is a Waikato agrichemical consultant who has a passion for the land and the people of Waikato. A number of years ago he studied agrichemical legacy issues in the US and Australia as part of a Winston Churchill scholarship.