13 January 2014

CLANCY OF THE OVERFLOW - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson

I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
   Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
   Just "on spec", addressed as follows: "Clancy, of The Overflow".

And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
   (And I think the same was written in a thumbnail dipped in tar)
'Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
   "Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are."

In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
   Gone a-droving "down the Cooper" where the western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
   For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
   In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
  And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.

I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
    Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
   Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all.

And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
   Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
   Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
  As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
   For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

And I somehow fancy that I'd like to change with Clancy,
   Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the cashbook and the journal -
   But I doubt he'd suit the office, Clancy, of "The Overflow".

The Bulletin, 21 December 1889.

04 December 2012

The Awesome Adventures of CC

My friend asked me to publish this. There will be more to come.

The Awesome Adventures of CC
M. Elizabeth Crane-Luff

My name is C.C. It does not stand for “cool cat” or “cute cat”.  It stands for Community Cat.  How my name came about is interesting to say the least.  I first moved into a block of flats in Margate about 2 years ago with a family of drug dealers.  Yes you heard right – drug dealers.  Father, mother and teenage son.  They used to stand out on the balcony and howl like a dingo and people on bicycles would come from all over to collect the drugs that they then would go to their customers and sell the drugs, bringing back their ill gotten gains.

One day the father started beating up on his wife and one of the neighbours came and tried to help the women.  This man was not a very well man but to me he was a hero.  He told one of the other neighbours to call the police while he climbed the stairs to try to help the woman.  He was then attacked by the father and nearly fell down the stairs in fright.  The police came but could do very little as the woman would not press charges and no-one else was actually hurt.

Eventually the landlady came and told the father, mother and teenage son that they would have to leave, as she could not have her wonderful tenants treated this way.  The family moved out but left me behind, which turned out to be a godsend for me.

They had not treated me too kindly either – throwing me off the balcony and kicking me in the ribs whenever he got on the grog or drugs or just got mad.

All the other neighbours in the flats started feeding me and they even took me to the animal clinic to make sure I was alright and had had all my shots.  This is important for all animals to make sure they live a happy and healthy life.  One lady would feed me breakfast and the other lady would feed me dinner.  They put a blue collar on me as I am a boy cat in case I forgot to mention this detail.  Well I am still a boy technically even though I have had an operation so that I don’t roam too far from what is now my home.

The man who tried to help did not want to have anything to do with me at first, but I watched and I listened and I decided that he needed me the most.  So I would climb in through his windows of a night time and sleep on his bed where he would wake up in the morning and see me and eventually he would accept me.

This man is not an old man by human standards but he is not in the best of health; or wasn’t until I came into his life.  He has a friend who used to take him to his hospital and doctor’s appointments but since I have come into his life he can do these things now on his own.  He still needs his friend whose name I cannot pronounce but I call her “Moz”.

Animals are Gods creatures and if only all humans could see the reason we were put here was to help them the world would be a better place.  In ancient times there were tribes of people called Egyptians who actually worshipped us and understood the importance of having us around.  Maybe one day soon they will all come to know that everything on this planet was put here for a purpose.

I am not a very verbal cat.  I do not voice my opinion very often or very loudly except when someone picks me up.  I do not like this and I do complain when this happens.  The man understood this very early on and he makes sure all other humans understand this when they come to visit.  The reason is because I am afraid that they are going to throw me and possibly hurt me.  Things that happen when you are young can stay with you for a long time.

If someone wants me to sit in their lap they just have to sit a certain way and put a cushion there for me to sit on and I will climb up and curl into a ball and nap.  Not always – just when I feel like it and if I like the person whose lap it is.

Every morning I like to climb up on the man’s desk and put my paws on his shoulders so he can give me a hug.  He seems to know what it is I am trying to tell him more so than most humans which I find most helpful.

I have some other friends too who are not human.  There is ‘Princess’ who lives upstairs and is very shy and never comes down stairs.  We hit if off straight away.  There is also ‘Street Cat.”  I don’t know her real name but she comes around at dinner time and I always leave some of my dinner for her.  She looks like she has had a rougher life than mine and while she can’t live with me I can at least make sure she has something to eat.

I also have a friend called “Charlie”.  Charlie is a poodle who lives with a friend of another man who lives upstairs and every time she visits I look forward to playing with Charlie.  We are about the same size and I don’t think Charlie knows that he’s a dog. People think cats and dogs don’t get a long but that is not always true as Charlie and I can attest to.

I don’t think I mentioned the name of the man whom I live with sometimes. My man’s name is….Big Bad Al. Funny don’t you think considering the people I lived with first.

I don’t remember my mother or my father, and I don’t know if I have any brothers or sisters, but I know I have a family now and when you have a family you are never alone.