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