Works in the Herald 1935
"Spatchcock," said we, with a lordly smile and a self-complacent air.
"Spatchcock," said we, as we licked our lips and bade our guests prepare.
For the feast grew fat by the barnyard door with the high fence all around;
And the peas grew plump, and the cress was green, and the axe was newly ground.
"Spatchcock," said we, "to feed a man as the gods were wont to feed.
On very especial table birds of a very especial breed."

Do the wild things know when Christmas comes in the fullness of the year?
Do they mark the tender cockerels wax as the festival draws near?
Else, why should brown fox count the days, and still restrain his greed?
Till the very day and the very hour when the best shall serve his need?
"Spatchcock," we'd said, "with tater chips, and all browned to a turn!"
How could we know that other eyes were watching from the fern?

"Spatchcock," we'd said, and licked our lips.  Ah, pity those who grieve!
He came with the first grey light of dawn on the morn of Christmas Eve;
And he climbed the fence as a possum climbs.  Hoop-la! and he was o'er;
And once he came, and twice he came, and three times more.
"Spatchcock," we'd gloated greedily. Ah, do not mock our grief!
For who makes wassail heartily on a dish of cold corned beef?

We hadn't the heart for plump green peas, or cress, or tater ships.
But, out somewhere in the secret scrub, brown fox, he licks his lips,
And the runs of six fat cockerels about his lair explain
Our lack of six especial birds of a very especial strain.
But, more than all this vexes us: How should brown fox conceive
That the zero hour for his ruthless raid was the dawn of Christmas Eve?

Herald, 26 December 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005