The unidentified narrator, presumably a family member of the title character, is lamenting the fact “our Andy” has had to leave the homestead to drove the cattle to market. Important to know is that the homestead is located in the Australian outback which means that droving means a long trip fraught with potential dangers. The reason that Andy has gone with the cattle is because a drought in the region bled the family finances dry.
Not that the lamentation is necessarily focusing on this aspect of Andy’s absence. Andy was great fun to be around and always a cheery smile on his face even when everyone else was down in the dumps. With Andy gone with cattle, the homestead is going to see a dreary and depressing place with no one to lift them out of the dumps and with drought in full swing, the dumps can reach down to even darker than normal levels.
Still, the problems that arise now that Andy’s gone are more than just the lack of a smile when needed. Apparently, Andy was kind of the glue that holds the place together. He’s the guy that keeps the squatters in line and the gates in order and now that he’s gone, both those problems are flaring up.
The dog, Auntie and Uncle are all starting to show signs of serious stress since Andy left. The only thing left is to hope and pray that the drought has not touched the path that Andy must follow as he’s droving the cattle. And, likewise, a call for rain on the long stretches of desert so that by summer Andy will return home safe and sound again.