Works in the Bulletin 1910

Most of the Labor members who voted for the Yass-Canberra site were influenced by purely parochial interests. - Political Item

Says Mac the Splitter to me, says he,
"There's many a fair an' sightly tree,
There's many a tall, young ash I've seen,
Straight in the barrel an' seemin' clean;
But you find when she's down an' you take a cut
She's rotten with ants from head to butt.
An' ants is the Devil, you take it from me,"
Says Mac the Splitter, "an' worse," says he.

Says Mac the Splitter, to me, one day : "I'm a fair good judge o' the trees that pay; At fallin' or splittin' I'm hard to beat. But ants! They worry a cove a treat; An' there's scarce a tree in this belt, I guess, Ain't got some ants in her, more or less. But you'll find me pickin' the soundest tree," Says Mac the Splitter. "My oath!" says he.
Says Mac the Splitter: "Now listen here; Them ants they guv me a strange, idear; An', talkin' o' this 'ere politics game, I judge them Parties an' trees the same. There's none of 'em free from a fault or knot, An' some has the borers, an' some the rot. An' them State Insects, it seems to me," Says Mac the Splitter, "is ants," says he.
Says Mac the Splitter: "I dunno much Of these political moves an' such; But I ain't such a darn poor judge as some, An' I didn't look twice at the Fusion gum. It was rot, dry rot, as a fool could note An' I says, 'That tree don't get my vote.' So I looks around for a sounder tree," Says Mac the Splitter. "That's what," says he.
Says Mac the Splitter : "I cruised around; The Labor tree looked clean an' sound; So I took a chip o' the policee, Same as I'd chip a palin' tree I carted it home an' tried the wood, An' it seemed all straight in the grain an' good. Thinks I. 'This 'ere is a boshter tree,' " Says Mac the Splitter, "bar ants," says he.
Says Mac the Splitter: "You never can tell Till you open her up; an' ants is Hell! An' these State Insects - spare me days! - Have all the worst of the white-ant ways. They work inside of her, out o' sight. You chip an' sound her an' vote her right; But when you open that straight, sound tree," Says Mac the Splitter - "Gorstrooth!" says he.
Says Mac the Splitter: "I call it dirt! I feel all out, an' me pride is hurt. Fer there ain't a bloke thatcan judge a tree In the whole darn forest along with me. I'll swear that tree I chipped was good, An' the chip was straight, clean, honest wood; But, I've found white ants in me Labor Tree," Says Mac the Splitter. "DAMN ANTS!" says he.

The Bulletin, 29 September 1910, p7

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002