At sixteen, Ian Parkes left home in Perth to start work as a jackeroo on a merino stud in the South Australian outback, and the adventure of a lifetime. It was the early 1950s, Australia was riding on the sheep's back, the pastoralist was king and a stint as a jackeroo was a time-honoured rite of passage. The city-bred youth's expectations were simple: to become a station manager and learn all he could about horses. He had no idea that the country would creep inside him and take root. Tough, tender, laugh-out loud funny one minute, poignant the next, his story is both a ripping yarn and a love letter to the bush -to a time when a young stockman worked side-by-side with Aboriginal trackers, learning their skills and traditions, and a big social event was a day at the races with your mates, followed by a game of two-up, and a young man might discover a love of books camped out under the stars. The work of a master storyteller, this superbly written memoir belongs alongside such classics as A Fortunate Life.