Banjo Paterson


Beside the bare and beaten track of travelling flocks and herds The woodpecker went tapping on, the postman of the birds, "I've got a letter here," he said, "that no one's understood, Addressed as follows: 'To the bird that's like a piece of wood.' "The soldier bird got very cross -- it wasn't meant for her; The spurwing plover had a try to stab me with a spur: The jackass laughed, and said the thing was written for a lark. I think I'll chuck this postman job and take to stripping bark." Then all the birds for miles around came in to lend a hand; They perched upon a broken limb as thick as they could stand, And just as old man eaglehawk prepared to have his say A portion of the broken limb got up and flew away. Then, casting grammar to the winds, the postman said, "That's him! The boobook owl -- he squats himself along a broken limb, And pokes his beak up like a stick; there's not a bird, I vow, Can tell you which is boobook owl and which is broken bough. "And that's the thing he calls his nest -- that jerry-built affair -- A bunch of sticks across a fork; I'll leave his letter there. A cuckoo wouldn't use his nest, but what's the odds to him -- A bird that tries to imitate a piece of leaning limb!"

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