Works in the Herald 1937

Farm-wives are complaining bitterly in the press that the new Egg Board regulations, virtually banning the barndoor egg, have deprived them of a traditional source of income and forced them to go to niggardly husbands for pin-money.

Mum's bit of egg money on the mantelpiece
   In the broken teapot in the olden days,
Hardly earned and hoarded there,
Much content afforded there
   Long before inspectors came and bureaucratic ways.
But science by the barn-door rules the farmer's lot
And Mum's bit of egg-money dwindles in the pot.

Ever since the first years this was mother's perquisite,
   Eggs daily gathered by the old barn door,
From the stable gathered in,
From the shed and fodder bin,
   Carted in and traded at the small town store;
Gathered from the wayward hen laying far afield
As the new-cleared acres gave their golden yield.

Long it was a stand-by while the kids were little ones -- Mum's broken teapot resting on the shelf -- Some print to make a dress for Lil, Sunday boots for Joe and Bill, A loan to Dad and, now and then, a trifle for herself: Growing heavy Christmas time by dint of watchful thrift To buy a little Christmas cheer and here and there a gift. But Mum's bit of egg-money grows a thing of history, And Mum's broken teapot an heirloom now indeed, Since Science ousts the picturesque; And Dad has bought an office desk To puzzle o'er official rules and size and weight and breed. But Mum is brooding darkly o'er the forbidden egg, Which, like a furtive gangsteress, she threatens to bootleg.

Herald, 27 September 1937

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-06