Works in the Herald 1935

A Sydney business man recently returned from Europe, declares that wool is gold on the Continent, and Australians made a grave mistake in not realising it. Germany cannot do without our wool; her substitutes (such as Woolstra) are undesired even by Germans.

I have ever found Australians
   Such a timid race and shy –-
(Woof!  Woof! The wicked wolf!)
So disposed to favor aliens
   With a differential eye –-
(Woof!  Woof! The wicked wolf!)
That although our country buys all
   That the foreigner would sell,
Just a hint of trade reprisal
   And she shrinks into her shell,
Crying, “Please, kind friend,
We’re too humble to offend!”
   (Woe!  Woe!  Woolstra!  Oo the wicked wolf!)

In the olden days twas “shoddy”
   That enwrapped the “Thing” we feared –-
(Oo!  Woof! The wicked wolf!)
And the stricken local body
   Threw a fit when it appeared –-
(Oo!  Woof! The wicked wolf!)
For he worted wool was “outed,”
   And he deemed the squatter doomed,
So he feared and sighed and doubted
   As he sat at home and gloomed,
Crying, “Woe!  Woe is us!
For the sheep has missed the bus!"
   (Woof!  Woof!  Woolstra!  Oo the wicked wolf!)

Next an ogre came a-prowling
   That we knew as “Sniafel” –-
(Oo!  This IS the wicked wolf!)
And our adolescent howling
   Rose to a prodigious yell –-
(Woof!  Woof! What a wicked wolf!)
Then we rent our garments madly,
   Pouring dust upon the head,
Sighing, sobbing, saying sadly
   Joy was ended, hope was dead.
Crying, “industry is slain!
She can ne’er revive again!"
   (And now comes “Woolstra”!  Oo, the wicked wolf!)

Pity for the poor Australian
   And his bogeys quaint and queer –-
(Woof!  Woof! There’s another wolf!)
For his terror of the alien
   Keeps alive his constant fear –-
(Woof!  Woof! Oo, the wicked wolf!)
But when Sniafel and Shoddy
Are but phantoms of the past –-
Bogeymen without a body,
   Substitutes that cannot last,
Ever must the Golden Fleece
Live to propers and increase;
   When there isn’t any Woolstra and there isn’t any wolf.

Herald, 10 April 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003