Tall Timber by C.J. Dennis

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According to recent news, a snake which fastened on to a man's leg at Burnie, Tasmania, was much disgusted upon finding that the leg was a wooden one.

That sort o' reminds me of ole days (said Bill)
In the bush at Toolangi, at Switherton's mill --
   A sor-mill, you know -- an' the sawyer we 'ad
   Was ole 'Oppy McClintock, a wooden-legged lad.
'E was walkin' one day for to tighten a peg,
When a tiger snake grabs at 'is ole timber leg;
   An' there it 'angs on, till I fetched it a crack,
   But ole 'Oppy jist grins as 'e starts to walk back.
An' then, somethink 'appens.  We seen 'Oppy stop,
As 'e stumbles a bit, an' looks down at 'is prop
   With a dead funny look.  Then 'e lets out a yell:
   "'Ere boys!  Take it off me! it's startin' to swell!"
Well, we unstraps 'is leg, an' it swole an' it swole.
Snake pisen?  Too right!  'Twas a twenty-foot pole
   In less than five minutes!  Believe me or not,
   An' as thick -- It's as true as I stand on this spot!
We was 'eavin it out, when the boss starts to roar:
"'Ere!  Why waste good wood?  Shove it on to the sor!"
   So we sors it in two, down the middle, an' then,
   Them there slabs swole an' swole; so we sors 'em agen
An' we sors, an' we sors; an' it swole an' it swole
Till the end of the day, when the tally, all tole,
   Was two thousan' foot super.  You doubt it? (said Bill)
   You ask any ole 'and at Switherton's mill!

First published in The Herald, 31 January 1933;
and later in 
An Australian Treasury of Popular Verse edited by Jim Haynes, 2002; and
Two Centuries of Australian Poetry edited by Kathrine Bell, 2007.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 31, 2013 7:26 AM.

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