2010 Winners

The Babies of Walloon Award – Open Age Bush Poetry

Highly Commended

Sue's Barney
by Leonie Parker
Brassall, Qld

Her brother went out shooting and he brought the piglet back.
It didn't look at all like Babe, this one was rough and black.
He penned it up to fatten it and he gave Sue a chore
to feed the little piglet, but she took it one step more.

She called the piglet Barney and she walked him every day.
She treated him just like a dog and like a dog he'd play.
He'd chase a ball and bring it back. He'd sit up and he'd beg.
His manners far surpassed a dog's, he'd never hump your leg.

He rounded up the chooks for Sue, obeyed her every rule.
He waited at the bus stop for her when she went to school
and when he saw her coming home he'd dance a little jig.
The murmurings of "oh, how cute" became "Is that a PIG?"

When Barney in excitement squealed as only piglets can
the disembarking passengers took fright and one poor man
got such an unexpected shock he fainted dead away,
and naughty Barney took off up the street with his toupee.

He dropped the rug into a nice mud puddle that he found.
Her father had to buy another, (cost him twenty pound).
They tried to lock up Barney so he couldn't meet the bus
but gave it up because his high pitched squeal caused such a fuss.

The piglet roamed the neighbourhood they couldn't keep him in.
He'd round up all the neighbours chooks; you should have heard the din.
Those chickens made a lot more noise than if he'd been a dog.
I guess they were offended to be rounded by a hog.

Barney wouldn't hurt the chooks he only liked the chase,
he'd round them up without a single feather out of place.
You'd think the neighbours would be glad he did the job so well
but they said they objected to his whiffy piggy smell.

Sue bathed the piglet every week she liked to keep him clean
but afterwards he'd roll in dirt like other dogs he'd seen.
He'd wallow in the dirt til he resembled mud pork pie
then run through mother's washing hanging on the line to dry.

Her father said he'd had enough the pig would have to go.
He said it was her brother's fault she had the so and so.
He told his son to fix it and he knew what he must do.
Her brother picked his rifle up and picked up Barney too.

He threw them both into the ute and barrelled out of town
annoyed that it came down to this, he'd put the piglet down.
They couldn't eat the porker now; it was his sister's pal,
so he'd just shoot the bloody thing and leave him where he fell.

Each time he raised the rifle stock he saw his sister's eyes.
He couldn't bear to shoot him so he made a compromise.
He took poor Barney way out bush and set the piglet free,
then ran off home while Barney urinated on a tree.

Her brother told his father that he'd done the awful deed.
He let him think he'd killed him not run home while Barney peed.
Poor Barney never found his way back home to Mistress Sue
but he grew up out in the bush as all wild piglets do.

Now there's a farmer somewhere who cannot believe his eyes.
He knows if he tells anyone he'll be accused of lies.
He must be going crazy for it can't be how it looks.
He thinks he sees a razorback that's rounding up his chooks.


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