Works in the Herald 1934
Said old Pete Parraday, "It's comin' on to Christmas time,
   Comin' on to Christmas time an' all good cheer;
Present waitin' everywhere if but a man could call for 'em.
   Same as other Christmases; but 'ere's me 'ere
Anchored in me ole hut, screwed with the rheumatiz,
   Hardly fit to hobble, an' it don't seem right,
'Count of floods an' sich like comin' so unseasonable.
   Somethin' queer's a-hap'nin' to the world, all right.

"Christmas time is comin', an' it's good to be a pensioner --
   Leastwise, it used to be till things went wrong:
Folks so generous with bacca, pipes and pocket knifes --
   All sorts of Knick Knacks when Pete comes along,
Sayin', Here's a gift, Pete, 'count of bein' Christmas time;
   Not that I'd be askin', by a darn long sight;
But I got good neighbors.  An' me with the rheumatiz!
   Somethin' queer's a-hap'nin' to the world all right.

"First there come the big floods, bang in the summer time,
   Swishin' thro' me garden, then the wind is here.
Then come the grasshoppers, chewin' up the greenery,
   Then come the rheumatiz.  It's all darn queer.
Never seen it this way, no, way, previous,
   Thunder -- storms an' earthquakes goin' day an' night,
An' pocket-knifes an' 'bacca pipes a-waitin' for me everywhere!
   Somethin' queer's a-hap'nin' to the world all right.

"Still an' all, I know well neighbors ain't forgettin' me --
   Christmas time an' everythin' - they all know Pete.
And so generous' they'll never go forgettin' him --
   Sort o' bucks yer faith up an' keeps life sweet.
Nigh on ninety year I been a-learnin' it:
   Faith in me fellers; an' it makes things bright,
Seein' how their real selfs comes out o' Christmas time.
   Pete ain't complainin'; an' the world's all right."

Herald, 20 December 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003