© Brenda Joy

Winner 2012 ‘Oracles of the Bush’ – Humorous Section Tenterfield, NSW.

Now it was getting late and I just couldn't get to sleep
so as a last resort I tried the trick of counting sheep.
But once I'd seen those sprightly ewes, a story came to me
of cousin antipodeans from o'er the Tasman Sea.

A bunch of Kiwi old boy 'bros' were travelling round Aus.
They planned that they would all meet up to rendezvous because
they like to flock together.  Soon they found the perfect site,
an outback paddock with a dam.  They set up for the night.

The farmer gave permission, let them put up their marquee,
eat Kiwi fruit, cook mutton stew, be happy as could be.
But unbeknown to them this cocky, ready for the morn,
had gathered up his sheep in joining paddock to be shorn.

Now Kiwi Kev he took a leak and left the gate ajar
quite late at night and sensing freedom Flossie Sheep went, “BAAAA…!”
The Kiwi chums encamped in tents were woken from their kip
by Flossie's bleats but thought a bullfrog must have had the snip.

Now Floss was drawn to Kevvy's tent and waddled right on in.
In sleep Kev talked to his dear wife, “We've been through thick and thin
and this and that,” then he reached out and Floss, now by his side,
was grabbed and cuddled close to Kev who thought she was his bride.

Whilst Kev and Floss were snuggled up, in through the open gate
a following of friends made trail to find their mammal mate.
But Kiwi Kev was in his dreams and Floss was most discreet –
she didn't want those unshorn ewes to gossip or to bleat.

In overcoat of woolly white, Big Bessie took the lead
and wound up like a ball of wool she led a wild stampede.
They rampaged through the Kiwi camp, upending stall or tent
and rummaged bins for Kiwi Fruit discarded to ferment.

As ravenous as raging rams, these ladies chomped their way
through canvas, covers, cloths and chords, their hunger to allay.
You’d have to think as they imbibed, bowed heads and butts in air,
that thirty thousand million sheep must eat New Zealand bare.

The Kiwi's clad in under-daks and candy-striped P.J's
ran round in circles waving arms and shouting, “Go aways!”
till finally the sheep all flocked into the gay marquee
and there, in horror, they espied what Kiwis ate for tea.

Some poor old scrubber, past her prime, left over in a stew –
those herbage-eating ruminants then knew what they would do.
They'd seek revenge on carnivores; they didn't give a damn.
They might as well be hung for some old sheep as for a lamb.

They turned on border collie, kelpie, cattle, heeler cross
and through sheer weight of numbers soon, they showed him who was boss.
They made him round those Kiwis up and herd them o'er the fence –
three hundred ewes in hot pursuit demanding recompense.

Around the paddock Kiwi blokes were forced to slide and slip.
Some slid into the slippery dam; some slipped into the dip.
At length those sheep called off the dog and gave the chums reprieve
and let those drenched, bedraggled bros back up, pack up and leave.

The cocky was a bit surprised at five a.m. next morn
for there were all his sheep demurely waiting to be shorn
but camping Kiwis must have made a very early start.
He wondered what had caused the urgency of their depart.

And what a mess they'd left behind; how rude could campers be.
He found a nasty message nailed upon his wattle tree.
“I hope your sheep get fly-blown soon and all your fleeces rot.”
The cocky was bewildered but delighted he was not.

And then he spied a single tent still standing to the side.
The cocky went to check it out and he was horrified.
He found Old Floss and Kiwi Kev still sleeping in repose.
A sheepish Kev awoke protesting, “I'm not one of those.”

But Kev found Aussie farmers were not easy to convince.
And this one's been suspicious of all Kiwis ever since.
In wild and woolly tales of ewes the truth is seldom found
But jokes of Kiwi blokes and sheep just keep on going round.

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