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Happy holidays folks!


Santa Claus in the Bush

It chanced out back at the Christmas time,
When the wheat was ripe and tall,
A stranger rode to the farmer's gate --
A sturdy man and a small.
"Rin doon, rin doon, my little son Jack,
And bid the stranger stay;
And we'll hae a crack for Auld Lang Syne,
For the morn is Christmas Day."

"Nay noo, nay noo," said the dour guidwife,
"But ye should let him be;
He's maybe only a drover chap
Frae the land o' the Darling Pea.

"Wi' a drover's tales, and a drover's thirst
To swiggle the hail nicht through;
Or he's maybe a life assurance carle
To talk ye black and blue,"

"Guidwife, he's never a drover chap,
For their swags are neat and thin;
And he's never a life assurance carle,
Wi' the brick-dust burnt in his skin.

"Guidwife, guidwife, be nae sae dour,
For the wheat stands ripe and tall,
And we shore a seven-pound fleece this year,
Ewes and weaners and all.

"There is grass tae spare, and the stock are fat.
Where they whiles are gaunt and thin,
And we owe a tithe to the travelling poor,
So we maun ask him in.

"Ye can set him a chair tae the table side,
And gi' him a bite tae eat;
An omelette made of a new-laid egg,
Or a tasty bit of meat."

"But the native cats have taen the fowls,
They havena left a leg;
And he'll get nae omelette at a'
Till the emu lays an egg!"

"Rin doon, rin doon, my little son Jack,
To whaur the emus bide,
Ye shall find the auld hen on the nest,
While the auld cock sits beside.

"But speak them fair, and speak them saft,
Lest they kick ye a fearsome jolt.
Ye can gi' them a feed of thae half-inch nails
Or a rusty carriage bolt."

So little son Jack ran blithely down
With the rusty nails in hand,
Till he came where the emus fluffed and scratched
By their nest in the open sand.

And there he has gathered the new-laid egg --
'Twould feed three men or four --
And the emus came for the half-inch nails
Right up to the settler's door.

"A waste o' food," said the dour guidwife,
As she took the egg, with a frown,
"But he gets nae meat, unless ye rin
A paddy-melon down."

"Gang oot, gang oot, my little son Jack,
Wi' your twa-three doggies sma';
Gin ye come nae back wi' a paddy-melon,
Then come nae back at a'."

So little son Jack he raced and he ran,
And he was bare o' the feet,
And soon he captured a paddy-melon,
Was gorged with the stolen wheat.

"Sit doon, sit doon, my bonny wee man,
To the best that the hoose can do --
An omelette made of the emu egg
And a paddy-melon stew."

"'Tis well, 'tis well," said the bonny wee man;
"I have eaten the wide world's meat,
And the food that is given with right good-will
Is the sweetest food to eat.

"But the night draws on to the Christmas Day
And I must rise and go,
For I have a mighty way to ride
To the land of the Esquimaux.

"And it's there I must load my sledges up,
With the reindeers four-in-hand,
That go to the North, South, East, and West,
To every Christian land."

"Tae the Esquimaux," said the dour guidwife,
"Ye suit my husband well!"
For when he gets up on his journey horse
He's a bit of a liar himsel'."

Then out with a laugh went the bonny wee man
To his old horse grazing nigh,
And away like a meteor flash they went
Far off to the Northern sky.

When the children woke on the Christmas morn
They chattered with might and main --
For a sword and gun had little son Jack,
And a braw new doll had Jane,
And a packet o' screws had the twa emus;
But the dour guidwife gat nane.

by A. B Banjo Paterson, 1906


Read more classic poetry from A. B. "Banjo" Paterson
at the BAR-D.

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Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of 


Happy holidays folks!


The Cowboy Christmas Ball 

Oh, I am goin' to Texas to
The Cowboy Christmas Ball
The buggy's standin' by the gate,
The horse is in the stall.

I have my dress an' bonnet
An' bear grease on my boots;
My shawl I made last summer
Was dyed from dogwood roots.

My hair is up an' tied in blue,
My skirt near sweeps the ground.
We'll tie a bow on Dobbin's ear
An' bring the buggy round.

We'll bundle up in blankets as
We gather up the reins;
The crispy air will sparkle as
We start off down the lane.

With Billy Joe an' Charley
An' Jerry, Peg, an' Paul,
Yes, I will be in Texas at
The Cowboy Christmas Ball.

So on that special evenin'
Don't look for me or call,
For I will be in Texas at
The Cowboy Christmas Ball.

Francine Roark Robison


Read more of Francine Roark Robison's poetry here.

She is:

Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of

Happy holidays folks!

Christmas Wink

      The line shack was pretty cozy,
      The stove was talking in creaks and pops.
      The sapling I'd cut was in the corner,
      Hung with tin-can labels and old box tops.

      The work went on in spite of the season,
      Short straw elected I would stay.
      The cattle company I was riding for,
      Needed cowboys even on Christmas day.

      I pulled on the old army great-coat,
      And went out to check the stock.
      I needed more wood for the stove,
      I glanced at the Baby Ben clock.

      Close to midnight that Christmas eve,
      I thought of who'd been born.
      Though now it was more about presents
      And having fun on Christmas morn.

      The horses were munching in their coral,
      Our breaths were clouds in the cold air.
      Like a "Leaning Tree" Christmas card,
      It was kinda magical standing there.

      I looked towards the heavens,
      It was clouded with nothing in sight.
      The cover made it a little milder,
      Than it would be on a starry night.

      I couldn't help but think about,
      Another scene way back when.
      With animals quietly eating hay,
      In some stable in old Bethlehem.

      Just then the cloud cover opened,
      As the wind shifted things about.
      And a hole appeared in the sky,
      Letting the full moon shine cleanly out.

      The clouds quickly closed again,
      After lighting the snow up bright.
      I felt that the show had been for me,
      Like a message on that holy night.

      It was a sign of something greater,
      Than wrapped presents or a decorated tree.
      It was a scene I knew I'd never forgot,
      The Christmas Eve that God winked at me!

      2003, Ron Lambert

Read more poetry by Ron Lambert here.

Happy holidays folks!

A Four-Year-Old's Christmas Truth

My cousin Butch told me yesterday
There ain't any Santy Claus;
He laughed and said it's only Grampa.
I know that ain't true because,

On Christmas Eve when I'm in my bed
Just before I fall asleep,
I hear reindeer paws up on our house,
Right where the roof is real steep!

If they wasn't magic, they'd fall off
An' crash right by my window.
An' Christmas Day when I got up, I'd
See a sleigh wrecked in the snow!

There wouldn't be oranges for me to
Find in the toe of my sock.
No new dress for my birthday doll or
Peppermints hard as a rock.

The star wouldn't be up on the tree,
No tiny Baby asleep.
No Mary in blue with her Joseph,
No sheep herders with their sheep.

One more reason I'm goin' to be
Tellin' 'Ol Santy thank you.
I just asked my own Mama and Pa,
And they both told me it's true!

(So there, Butch!)

11-29-02, Byrd Woodward  

Read more of Byrd Woodward's poetry here at the BAR-D. 

Happy holidays folks!


A Visit From St. Nick?

      T'were the night b'fore Christmas and all 'cross the range
      Not a creature was stirrin,it seemed kinda stange.
      us punchers were nestled all warm in our bunks
      not a one was a dreamin of coyotes or skunks.
      our  hats were hung on a rack by the door,
      our chinks and our gloves piled up on the floor.
      When out in the corral, we heard quite a clatter
      threw on our boots to go see what's the matter.
      we expected to see some deer and a sleigh
      but it was ol' Brushy Nick yellin "GIT OUTTA MY WAY!"
      He'd been into town and enjoyed too much nog
      tryin to git home he got lost in the fog....
      his carriage of choice just didnt seem right,
      but neither did Nick on this cold wint'ry night.
      His wagon was loaded with liquid holiday cheer,
      pulled by 8 momma cows and bein led by a steer.
      That night was so cold that Nicks face had turned blue,
      but he could still crack that whip
      and those cows could still ...MOOOO
      We stopped Ol' Nick and he sighed with disgust
      we could all see his breath as he hollered an cussed.
         " On Ginger, On Sapphire, On Bossy and Daisy,"
         " Tomorrow yer hamburger if ya dont quit bein so lazy!"
         " On Molly ,On Bess, On Katie and Lil ,"
         " git those hooves a movin or you'll sure find the grill ! "
         " Now Sampson ya know that i've raised ya since birth"
         " but $ .40 on the hoof 's 'bout all you'll be worth!"
         " We gotta git home 'fore the snow starts to fall"
                   "SO GIT OUTTA MY WAY!!!!! and
                          Merry Christmas Ya'll"
       One hand on the reins, and one on his drink
       He looked straight to me with a smile and a wink.
       And then he hollered with all of his might....
                  " GIT BACK TO YER BUNKS !!!!!
                       " and To all a Good Night"

       2003, Steve Rohlman

Happy holidays folks!

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