Works in the Herald 1935
SAWDUST AND SAP

A Munich doctor declares that, if the necessity arose in the event of war, Germany could live on sawdust and sap.

Sawdust and sap is the deuce of a diet.
I couldnt be happy, I couldnt keep quiet
   If, robbed of the nutriment Nature now grants,
   I had to pig in with a lot of white-ants
And dine on a door-post or nibble a rafter.
The taste is acquired?  Ah, but what about after?
   Dyspeptic worries and elderly chap;
   I might shatter my system with sawdust and sap.

I have lived on salt-horse in my proud gastric prime,
Washed down with block billy-tea - quarts at a time.
   Of goat-and-galah I have not been afraid,
   Een when eaten with damper some duffer had made;
Hard-tack had no terrors my fears to awake;
Ive sampled goanna and wombat and snake.
   Ive even chewed green-hide and boiled saddle-strap;
   But Id shrink with a shudder from sawdust and sap.

Yet, like many a man, there are foods I detest.
Rice-pudding, for instance, brings pains to my chest;
   Than eat a veal cutlet Id far rather die,
   And Id murder the waiter who served shepherds-pie.
I sicken on sago, think fried meats are foul,
And, after a meal of hashed mutton, I howl.
   I hate tapioca and all mushy pap;
   But Id grow homicidal on sawdust and sap.

But, of course, Im no Teuton, no tough Aryan bloke.
On sausage and sauerkraut Id probably choke;
   Im not very partial to blutwurst and beer;
   For one gets me gloomy, and one on my ear.
But who knows what hell eat, or find heart to abhor,
In the grim Sturm and Drang on another world-war?
   Then serve up the sawdust, and - who cares a rap?
   Wash it down - Prosit, Herrin! - with steins of bright sap!

"Den"
Herald, 23 May 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003