SHOWTIME by Joyce Marquardt

As we head into the 2011 show season, I'm sure this poem will ring a cord with many wives and partners across Australia.

SHOWTIME  (by Joyce Marquardt)

It’s showtime at the Ekka –
The cattle are all blooming;
Well-fed, well-rugged, well-brushed, well spoilt,
The utmost in grooming.
As I saw them leaving
For exhibition at the show,
I had such a feeling of dismay
As I watched them go.
The Squire!  He was all excited,
(Each year it is the same)
With months of preparation
Leading to the ‘Showman’s Game’.

Ah well!  I thought it’s wishful thinking,
But you never know –
Perhaps, just once, things will go right
With ev’rything just so.
There aren’t too many cows to milk
But, lots of calves to feed.
Perhaps if I stuff the brutes,
I will get the milk I need.
If I’m very lucky
They might do ev’rything just right
And not produce more poddy calves,
Especially at night.

If it doesn’t rain too much
And make the yards all boggy,
Perhaps I’ll keep them happy
If oats don’t get too soggy.So I waved a fond farewell
Turning back to face the mess:
The unwashed dishes, unswept floors.
I sighed, I must confess.
And piles of dirty clothing –
With the outdoor chores as well, I wouldn’t do much dozing.

The neighbours have a bitzer dog;
He is pretty randy.
Our dogs look very clumsy
With both in pup to Brandy.
What will I do with bitzer pups
If Squire’s still away?
And, if I do not miss my guess,
They’ll be here any day.
The verandah’s covered up with gunk
From the dusty sacks,
Which were used to make the rugs
Worn for grooming, on their backs.

While the cows get prettied up
Everything’s neglected.
When there’s ‘Show Biz’ in the blood
It’s just to be expected.
First, Tommo broke his bull-gate down
And tossed it all about.
When I went to rescue it,
Bellowed, pawed and put me out.
And so, I left the wretched thing –
After all, why worry?
I’ll leave it for the Squire,
He’s never in a hurry.

The dogs are missing! Now what next?
That will be just dandy –
I knew it! Both have puppies –
A dozen!  Just like Brandy!!
You think they’d now be happy,
But they’ve got my boots as well;
They’re underneath the wriggling horde –
Ev’rything’s just swell!
No boots, and now it’s raining,
And the yard stinks with the mud.
It smells more like a garbage tip,
Never mind a prestige stud.

Perhaps I should have gone with him –
Left the whole shemozzle
For someone else to think about.
But then, it’s still a puzzle –
How much would still be waiting here
For when I got back home?
I guess I’ll muddle through somehow –
Perhaps I’ll write a poem!
Now, with the power on the blink
I had to call the Board,
And at five that early morning
It caused them some discord.

Still, they fixed the dratted thing
But the milking finished late,
And it was the pick-up day
When the tanker called at eight.
The cows just stood and bellowed,
For the oats ain’t good enough.
The show cows all had better fare
And they think it’s tough.
They get all the leftovers,
How can they produce the milk?
The Squire said, “It’s still good tucker” –
That’s a lot of bilk!

I’d better give them something else
But then, they’ll gorge the lot
And when the show cows all come home
There won’t be left a spot
Where they can get the lush green oats
That they have dreamt about.
Still, the greedy things are spoilt,
They will have to go without.
But there’s trefoil in the paddocks,
I’ve never seen it so –
It looks like green lush lucerne,
These showers make it grow.

Now on top of everything,
The Herd Bull has got bloated,
And he was so blown up with gas
Gawd, he almost floated.
I thought I’d better get the vet
For things looked pretty grim,
But they weren’t available –
Tommo’s future then looked dim.
He was lying stretched right out,
Bloated up like a balloon;
He’d chased me out the day before
But I knew he’d go up soon.

So I approached him warily,
So blown up from trefoil,
And he downed the oily mess –
A bottle full of bloat oil.
The cows grazed on the clover too,
Some of them got bloated,
Then like the poor old Tommo,
The poor things nearly floated.
Good neighbours came and helped me out,
We dosed, and dosed, and dosed.
I don’t know how we managed it
But none gave up the ghost.

Next day, I kept the lot in jail
And fed them all on hay,
Didn’t want more bloated cows
While the Squire was away.
There were a lot of hassles
But they managed to survive.
Then our man bogged the tractor
And it’s still bogged, sakes alive!
I tried to pull the darned thing out
But wasn’t good enough.
It’s left there for the Squire
And I know it’s pretty rough.

But he’s used to all the muddles
That come when he’s away.
Good Lord!  When I tell him all,
I sure don’t know what he’ll say.
Eighty-one has got a bull
And the darned thing will not drink.
The calves have all got scours
And I don’t know what  to think.
I was pleased to see him go –
Really thought I’d have a spell.
Gawd!  I’ll be pleased to see him back;
I haven’t fared too well.

Perhaps, the Squire just might think
I didn’t do too bad.
And won’t start up complaining
Which, of sure, will make me mad.
I really can’t be blamed
That the cows gorged on the clover –
But, such things all happen
When womenfolk take over.

The power, it goes on the blink,
Strange things come to visit.
Somebody sure puts a hex
When I’m left to baby-sit.
But, after all, I do my best,
There’s no-one can do more.
Perhaps he will appreciate,
Then I won’t get too sore.
I’ll chip my garden, clean the yard,
And tidy up the mess.
I’ll milk the cows and feed the calves
And then, I must confess –
If he complains.
Just please take note:

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