The following day’s drive seemed longer and hotter than ever. Jetlag overcame the kids and they dozed on and off, but as they finally approached the outskirts of Rockhampton, the kids gradually came to. Isobel took in the endless expanses of farmland, strangely shaped cattle and – were they cacti lining the side of the road? The place seemed devoid of people. Abruptly they arrived at a big intersection. Isobel sat up, ready to read out the road-signs. The highway was suddenly furnished with motels and guesthouses, private homes and businesses. Becky pointed to a concrete bull standing on the roof of a steakhouse restaurant. Then Jacob spotted another bull on the median strip, then another and another. The energy in the car picked up, as bull-sightings became a competition between the kids. ‘Mum – what’s going on?’ asked Jacob. ‘What’s with all the bulls?’ Isobel was proud to know the answer. ‘Rockhampton – or Rocky to its friends – is the Beef Capital of Australia.’
‘Good God,’ cried Leo as the father of all bulls loomed up on a roundabout in front of them.
Isobel followed his eyes and couldn’t help but gawp in disbelief at the sheer size of the statue’s genitalia. Leo momentarily lost his focus on the road and the car swerved slightly as he drove around the roundabout. He and Isobel chortled.
‘Whoa!’ Cried Jacob. ‘Look at the size of that one’s ba...’
‘OK Jacob, thank you,’ interjected Isobel quickly, but it was too late. Becky was already staring wide-eyed at the spectacle.
‘Hmm. Not bad!’ She said. The car swerved slightly again.