‘MA’ FROM SNOWY RIVER
© 2010 Glenny Palmer
ABPA NSW State Championship - Best Humorous, Dunedoo, NSW.
That blasted colt from old Regret has broken out again,
it’s got to be the seventh time this year.
I reckon it’s that fancy filly from the wild bush mob,
that they should catch, to keep the blighter here.
But all the blokes are cracks they say, and this excuse’ll do
for them to get together for the fray.
There’s twenty of the sods requiring feeding and a bed,
and only me to do it in one day.
I’m Ma from Snowy River, and I’m getting sick and tired
of cooking for these blokes at every bid,
like Harrison the gambling man, who made his pile alright
on Pardon, but he still owes me a quid.
And then that flamin’ Clancy fairly overflows with joy
from scoring decent tucker for a change.
His missus, she won’t feed him ‘cause he’s hardly ever home;
he lives on beans while droving ‘cross the range.
And blow me down, this skinny bloke with bum fluff on his chin,
turns up and says he wants to have a go.
I try to pack him off back to his Mum, where he belongs,
but that know-all Clancy makes a flamin’ show.
“We ought to let him come,” he says; (he’ll need a damn good feed,
his horse and him between them weigh two stone),
I water down the stew some more to make it go around,
and just for fun in goes the old dog’s bone.
And twenty horses need a feed and watering as well;
the only sober lackie left? ---- that’s me.
I’m fairly tuckered out while Mrs Harrison, I’ll bet,
is sitting with her feet up, happily.
I do the washing up and get to bed at 3 a.m.,
at 4 the camp’s alive as they all sing;
by 5 I’m feeling quite de-ranged, I’m desperate for sleep…
impossible, when twenty stock whips ring.
Then eighty hooves strike firelight from the flint stones as they leave,
I’m glad they’re gone, but strike me flamin’ pink,
that’s started up a bushfire and there’s only me left here,
poor Ma from Snowy River, on the brink.
So I saddle up the plough horse, scream “Enough’s e-bloody-nough!”
and spur the poor old Clydesdale to a trot.
I’ve never owned a whip, so take my rolling pin along,
to settle up this flamin’ tommy rot.
The gorges deep and black all echo with my banshee wail,
“Let’s get ‘em boy.” I yodel through the pines.
Down that terrible descent, and on his bum the Clydesdale slides,
with his front legs digging tracks like railway lines.
A wombat sticks his head out, just to see what’s going on;
we step on him, I’m airborne, up away…
I land back in the saddle which has shifted to the right,
but the Clydesdale’s leaning left, so that’s okay.
Like drunken co-joined twins we weave and wobble through the gorge;
the horse regains his geriatric pace.
Down the next slope he slides backwards on his bum, to close his wounds,
there we meet them, but I can’t say “face to face”.
With feet stuck in the bridle and my apron on his eyes,
we skid into a heap of crumpled pride,
the old horse struggles to his feet, and beetles overhead,
as I lay there cursing, on his underside.
“It’s Ma from Snowy River!”screams out Harrison in fear,
the rolling pin lays waste to ten or more,
the weedy one has bolted, but then Clancy takes a pull,
when I grab his ear and bellow it red raw.
“You get and put that bushfire out, and cook me up some tea!”
The watchers on the mountain yell “Hooray”;
a dozen cranky wives who want these silly blighters home,
and back to work, not chasing up some stray.
The poor old Clydesdale’s sitting with his backside in a stream,
and clearly he’s the best horse in the pack.
The cracks are cowed and beaten; with my rolling pin held high,
my horse, with some assistance, takes us back.
So now The Country Women’s call me their new President,
and ‘round the scones and pikelets cooked with pride,
old Ma from Snowy River is their household name today,
but the stockmen never tell about that ride.