Russell Edson |
A man stumbled on some rat droppings.
Hey, who put those there? That's dangerous, he said.
His wife said, those are pieces of a rat.
Wait, he's coming apart, he's all over the floor, said the
He can't help it; you don't think he wants to drop pieces of
himself all over the floor, do you? said the wife.
But I could have flipped and fallen through the floor, said
Well, he's been thinking of turning into a marsupial, so try
to have a little patience.
I'm sure if you were thinking of
turning into a marsupial he'd be patient with you.
But, on the
other hand, don't embarrass him if he decides to remain
placental, he's on a very tight schedule, said the wife.
A marsupial, a wonderful choice, cried the husband .
Andrew Barton Paterson |
We read in the press that Lord Northcote is here
To take up Lord Tennyson's mission.
'Tis pleasant to find they have sent us a Peer,
And a man of exalted position.
It's his business to see that the Radical horde
From loyalty's path does not swerve us;
But his tastes, and the task, don't seem quite in accord
For they say that His Lordship is nervous.
Does he think that wild animals walk in the street,
Where the wary marsupial is hopping?
Does he think that the snake and the platypus meet
And "bail up" the folk who go shopping?
And the boomerangs fly round the scared passer-by
Who has come all this way to observe us.
While the blackfellow launches a spear at his eye?
-- No wonder His Lordship is nervous.
Does he think that with callers he'll be overtasked,
From a baronet down to a barber?
Does he dream of the number of times he'll be asked
"What he thinks of our Beautiful Harbour?"
Does he sadly reflect on the sorrows that ding
Round his task? (From such sorrows preserve us!)
He must hear John See speak and O'Sullivan sing,
-- It's enough to make any man nervous.
Does he think he'll be waked in the dead of night
From Melbourne to go willy-nilly,
To live in the Federal Capital site
At Tumut or Wagra-go-billy?
Well, the Melbournites may let the Capital go
(Here we wink with one eye, please observe us!)
But not in a hurry! By no means! Oh, no!
He has not the least need to be nervous!
Andrew Barton Paterson |
The sun strikes down with a blinding glare;
The skies are blue and the plains are wide,
The saltbush plains that are burnt and bare
By Walgett out on the Barwon side --
The Barwon River that wanders down
In a leisurely manner by Walgett Town.
There came a stranger -- a "Cockatoo" --
The word means farmer, as all men know,
Who dwell in the land where the kangaroo
Barks loud at dawn, and the white-eyed crow
Uplifts his song on the stock-yard fence
As he watches the lambkins passing hence.
The sunburnt stranger was gaunt and brown,
But it soon appeared that he meant to flout
The iron law of the country town,
Which is -- that the stranger has got to shout:
"If he will not shout we must take him down,"
Remarked the yokels of Walgett Town.
They baited a trap with a crafty bait,
With a crafty bait, for they held discourse
Concerning a new chum who there of late
Had bought such a thoroughly lazy horse;
They would wager that no one could ride him down
The length of the city of Walgett Town.
The stranger was born on a horse's hide;
So he took the wagers, and made them good
With his hard-earned cash -- but his hopes they died,
For the horse was a clothes-horse, made of wood! --
'Twas a well-known horse that had taken down
Full many a stranger in Walgett Town.
The stranger smiled with a sickly smile --
'Tis a sickly smile that the loser grins --
And he said he had travelled for quite a while
A-trying to sell some marsupial skins.
"And I thought that perhaps, as you've took me down,
You would buy them from me, in Walgett Town!"
He said that his home was at Wingalee,
At Wingalee, where he had for sale
Some fifty skins and would guarantee
They were full-sized skins, with the ears and tail
Complete; and he sold them for money down
To a venturesome buyer in Walgett Town.
Then he smiled a smile as he pouched the pelf,
"I'm glad that I'm quit of them, win or lose:
You can fetch them in when it suits yourself,
And you'll find the skins -- on the kangaroos!"
Then he left -- and the silence settled down
Like a tangible thing upon Walgett Town.