Poem of the Day

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A Bunyip Tale


A schoolboy trudged along one day

late for school but on his way.


Dreamily became aware

of the much polluted air.


Rotting slime and yukky sludge

tadpole eggs and oozing mud.


The smell came from a bunyip near

stalking very quietly in the rear.


‘For ages now,’ the bunyip boomed,

‘beneath the mud I’ve been entombed.’


‘Freed at last by recent rains

I’m suffering dreadful hunger pains.’


‘Although against the usual rule,

I’m very fond of boys from school.’


Its jaws opened in a wide green grin,

Drooling at what could be welcomed in.


‘Please dine with me,’ it begged at last,

‘And help me break this dreamtime fast.’


This offer was declined with haste

the schoolboy lacked the time to waste.


Suggested instead some gumtips tender

followed by trees and a broken fender.


The bunyip took obedient heed

and peacefully settled down to feed.


It ate its way through twenty trees

forty cans and eighty bees.


But because it wouldn’t masticate

indigestion was its fate.


It moaned and groaned in dreadful pain

and swore never to eat as much again.


It writhed and rolled and turned bright green

the sorriest bunyip ever seen.


With legitimate excuse for being late,

the schoolboy reached the schoolyard gate.


Arrived in class with pleased relief

but faced his teacher’s disbelief.


‘The bunyip legend needs no mention

fifty lines and another detention.’


But ever after as a definite rule

that schoolboy was in time for school.


And always it was his guilty fear

that something stalking in the rear


Very vengeful and wide awake

suffering dreadful stomach ache


Still hunted for the tender treat

of a tardy schoolboy ripe to eat.


Margaret Pearce


  • A version of this poem was published  HOUSE OF SPROUTS Vol 1. Issue 3, July 87 and in Prints Rhyming Anthology 2015


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