‘Twas the month before Christmas

View From the Paddock: 'Twas the month before Christmas


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A cottonseed Christmas tree, created during a recent sheep feeding morning at Trinidad, Quilpie. Photo by Bulldust_and_mulga.

A cottonseed Christmas tree, created during a recent sheep feeding morning at Trinidad, Quilpie. Photo by Bulldust_and_mulga.

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It's the best Christmas present anyone in the bush could wish for, and Claire Jackson captures the feeling in a fabulous parody of the 1823 anonymous poem.

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Twas the month before Christmas, when all through the west, temperatures rose, cooking even the best.

The stock were all fed with the greatest of care, in hope that more rain, soon would be there.

The children were sprawled under fans in their beds, as the whining of mozzies whirred round their heads.

Mum sipped a wine and Dad necked his beer, and they tried to muster some old Christmas cheer.

When out in the dark there arose such a clatter, Dad sprung from his chair to see what was the matter.

Over to the window he went with a crash, threw open the curtains and saw a bright flash.

The light on the cottonseed looked just like snow, with a trespassing poddy, munching below.

Then what to his disbelieving nose might be whiffed? But moisture on dirt! It near shocked him stiff.

When the old bloke regained some’ve his wit, he yelled out to Mum she’d better come quick.

At the speed of a shot, to the window she came, and he whistled and shouted, “here comes the rain!”

“Shut windows, and doors, away vehicles and bikes, in washing, in boots, in helmets the like!”

As he shouted out jobs, out of bed kids did fly, as the cracking and booming continued outside.

Mum like a madwoman, round the house she flew, kids rescuing boots and the old blue dog too.

And then, with a sprinkling, they heard on the roof, a better pit-pattering than any small hoof.

They ran out on the lawn to spin round and round, and the heavens opened up with a thundering sound.

Dad shook himself off, and let out a sigh, away flew his worries of money and dry.

Then to Mum with a wink, he took in the sight, “Merry Christmas to me, might get lucky tonight.” 

 – Claire Jackson, 2017/18 QCL Miss Showgirl

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