A house lawn and its lovingly-tended garden, on an island in the murky flood waters in northern NSW, has been churned to a pigsty by a mob of cattle, saved from certain drowning during the extreme flooding this week.
Elaine Trustum and her husband Darcy, their daughter Elizabeth Steele and her husband Hayden and their two children Madison and Savanah, all risked their well-being to encourage the mob to higher ground at Tatham, near Casino.
While they are grateful for the safety of their 64 head of Simmental cattle - and another 30 from neighbouring farms - there remains a sense of loss for the memorial roses.
Never mind the corn, the beans, the oranges and the lemons ...
In the swirling waters the grandchildren helped to untangle calves from the top wires of the yard fence and Nanny had to turn away.
"I couldn't look at them. I thought any minute they'll get swept away too," said Mrs Trustum.
With the mob all bunched up they filled the house garden as if they were in the yards and not long after they shook water from their coats they looked around for a feed.
One moseyed over to Darcy's wonderful vegetable garden, ripe with corn - which they ate first - then the beautiful beans.
They ate the leaves and green fruit off the orange and lemon trees down to bare stalks before moving over to the roses.
The four memorial bushes, one for each of Elaine and Darcy's parents, and on to the special varieties released for occasions like Princess Diana's death, and the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli and the one named after Don Bradman.
All gone. Their leaves carry copper and other important trace elements.
It wasn't long before the hibiscus went the same way, and Elaine's prized 'yesterday today tomorrow' shrub.
Then, with their rumens returning to functionality, one of the mob spied the passionfruit vine, loaded with summer fruit, and it was soon razed along with the choko.
"There's not a vine remaining," Mrs Trustum said.
"When they started eating the flowers off my potted cactus and orchids I said that was enough and we lifted those plants onto the back of the ute and shut the tailgate," said Mrs Trustum.
Elaine and Darcy have lived in the house for 54 years and never saw so much water arrive at such a rate when the deluge first hit on Monday.
"We saw them swimming in, all bellowing, and we called to them - our cattle are a bit spoiled - and up they came and through the little garden gate.
"How those two bulls squeezed through that tiny opening, well, I couldn't believe it," she said.
"If you'd wanted them to get through that little space any other time, no way."
In normal conditions the new Simmental bull and the Angus sire used on the heifers, would scrap and brawl if left unattended in the same paddock but in the quaint house garden at Tatham they lay down together and slept.
"They've all come to accept their situation," said Mrs Trustum. "And they are all so settled."
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