Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems

Wallaby Stew


Poor Dad, He got five years or more, as everybody knows,
And now he lives in Maitland Gaol, broad arrows on his clothes;
He branded old Browns cleanskins and he never left a tail
So I relate the familyís fate since Dad got put in gaol

Chorus: So stir the wallaby stew, make soup of the kangaroo tail;
I tell you things is pretty tough since Dad got put in gaol.

Our sheep all died a month ago, of foot-rot and the fluke;
Our cow got shot last Christmas day by my big brother Luke;
Our Motherís got a shearer cove forever within hail;
The family will have grown a bit when Dad gets out of gaol.

Our Bess got shook upon some bloke, but heís gone, we donít know where;
He used to act about the sheds, but he ainít acted square;
I sold the buggy on my own, and the place is up for sale;
That wonít be all that has been junked when Dad comes out of gaol.

They let Dad out before his time to give us a surprise.
He came and slowly looked around, then gently blessed our eye;
He shook hands with the shearer cove, and said that things seemed stale,
And left him here to shepherd us and battled back into gaol.

Cecil Poole

First published in the Bulletin in 1897

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