How Babs Malone cut Down the Field

Now the squatters and the “cockies,”
  Shearers, trainers and their jockeys
Had gathered them together for a meeting on
  the flat;
  They had mustered all their forces,
  Owners brought their fastest horses,
Monaro-bred - I couldn't give them greater praise
  than that.

  "Twas a lovely day in Summer -
  What the blacksmith called “a hummer,”
The swelling ears of wheat and oats had lost
  their tender green,
  And breezes made them shiver,
  Trending westward to the river -
The river of the golden sands, the moaning
  Eucumbene.

  If you cared to take the trouble
  You could watch the misty double,
The shadow of the flying clouds that skimmed the
  Boogong's brow,
  Throwing light and shade incessant
  On the Bull Peak's ragged crescent,
Upon whose gloomy forehead lay a patch of
  winter's snow.

  Idly watching for the starting
  Of the race that he had part in,
Old Gaylad stood and champed his bit, his
  weight about nine stone;
  His owner stood beside him,
  Who was also going to ride him,
A shearer from Gegederick, whose name was
  Ned Malone.

  But Gaylad felt disgusted,
  For his joints were fairly rusted,
He longed to feel the pressure of the jockey on his
  back,
  And he felt that for a pin he'd
  Join his mates, who loudly whinnied
For him to go and meet them at the post upon
  the track.

  From among the waiting cattle
  Came the sound of childish prattle,
And the wife brought up their babe to kiss his
  father for good luck;
  Said Malone: "When I am seated
  On old Gaylad, and am treated
With fairish play, I'll bet we never finish in the
  ruck."

  But the babe was not contented,
  Though his pinafore was scented
With oranges, and sticky from his lollies, for he
  cried,
  This gallant little laddie,
  As he toddled to his daddy,
And raised his arms imploringly - "Please, dad,
  div Babs a wide."

  The father, how he chuckled
  For the pride of it, and buckled
The surcingle, and placed the babe astride the
  racing pad;
  He did it, though he oughtn't,
  And by pure good luck he shortened
The stirrups, and adjusted them to suit the
  tiny lad,

  Who was seemingly delighted,
  Not a little bit affrighted,
He sat and twined a chubby hand among the
  horse's mane:
  His whip was in the other;
  But all suddenly the mother
Shrieked, "Take him off!" and then “the field” came
  thund'ring down the plain.

  'Twas the Handicap was coming,
  And the music of their drumming
Beat dull upon the turf that in its summer coat was
  dressed,
  The racehorse reared and started,
  Then the flimsy bridle parted,
And Gaylad, bearing featherweight, was striding
  with the rest.

  That scene cannot be painted
  How the poor young mother fainted,
How the father drove his spurs into the nearest
  saddle-horse,
  What to do? he had no notion,
  For you'd easier turn the ocean
Than stop the Handicap that then was half-way
  round the course.

  On the “bookies” at their yelling,
 
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"How Babs Malone cut Down the Field" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 22 Aug. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/4185/how-babs-malone-cut-down-the-field>.

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