Mr Smith by D.H. Souter

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“Mr. Smith of Tallabung
Has very wicked ways.
He wanders off into the bush
And stays away for days.

He never says he’s going;
We only know he’s gone.
There’s lots of cats like Mr. Smith,
Who like to walk alone.

He plays that he’s a tiger,
And makes the dingoes run.
He scratches emus on the legs
And plays at football with their eggs;
But does it all in fun.

And then, one day, he’s home again,
The skin all off his nose,
His ears all torn and tattered,
His face all bruised and battered,
And bindies in his toes.

He wanders round and finds a place
To sleep in in the sun,
And dream of all the wicked things
That he has been and done.

Mr. Smith of Tallabung
May be a bad cat;
But everybody likes him –
So that’s just that.”

“Australian Bush-Babs” by D. H. Souter, Sydney: Endeavour Press, 1933

Source:  60 Classic Australian Poems edited by Christopher Cheng, Random House, 2009

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