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Musings in Maoriland

Our Pet Kangaroo. — (an australian idyl, founded on fact.)

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Our Pet Kangaroo.
(an australian idyl, founded on fact.)

We caught the young marsupial
  One winter ere he learn'd to spring;
His ma was shot, and from her pouch
  Hopp'd forth the frisky little thing;
His story's short—his mater's tail
  Was long and made a rich ragout
A novel and romantic feed—
  We all enjoyed that Kangaroo.

The little orphan soon became
  Our pet: he quite familiar got.
He jumped among the saucepans, though
  His loving ma had gone to pot:
He throve so well, and grew so fat,
  Our chef de cuisine Chong Ah Loo
Petitioned us to let him try
  His skill upon the Kangaroo.

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But no,— we scorn'd so mean a trick,
  And made the Tartar-tempter fly.
He spoke of soup, and we could see
  The gravy in his almond eye—
His bitter almond eye, for he
  Was cruel to be kind—"For you
Me makey soupy welly lich,
  All samey puppy, Kangaloo."

But from that day Chong never dared
  To make the same suggestion. We
Some kittens lost—but that was not
  A serious catastrophe;
Our native bear "vamoosed" one day,
  We missed our pure-bred bull-pup too,
We mourned them not, but set our hearts
  Upon the tame young Kangaroo.

We named him Budgeree—that's "good"
  In native lingo, as you know;
He earned the appellation well;
  We watch'd our pet in goodness grow;
We taught him many a harmless trick,—
  He couldn't smoke, but he could chew;
We always found him "up to snuff"—
  He grew so 'cute, our Kangaroo.

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He followed us about the house,
  And on our rambles round the run;
And when his kin we hunted down,
  He'd look sedate and watch the fun.
We took him once unto a ball
  In Tapley's pub. at Bangaboo;
And didn't he enjoy the hop?
  You bet he did—that Kangaroo.

He skipped right through the gay quadrille,
  And joined the waltz's mazy whirl;
He lick'd the fiddler's foaming pint,
  And kiss'd the hurdy-gurdy girl—
"Du sollst es nicht thun!" she exclaimed
  (Which means "Now don't! be quiet, do!")
And no one there enjoyed the spree
  More fully than our Kangaroo.

But thunder often follows calm,
  And clouds at times obscure the sun,
Though old, those proverbs still are trite—
  The "Lancers" and a waltz were done,
When Tapley jumped upon a chair,
  And said—"I've to announce to you
That Dougal Gunn has just arrived:"
  All cheered except the Kangaroo.

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Big Dougal was a kilted Celt
  Who never swore an English oath;
He measured six feet three or four,—
  His tartans had not check'd his growth:
At all the games he prizes won
  For bagpipe tunes. So well he blew,
I thought and said, "He'll charm our pet,
  For sweet sounds please our Kangaroo."

Then Dougal march'd around the room
  With ribbons streaming from his pipes;
His mien was royal, though he wore
  So many brilliant stars and stripes.
With cheeks distended, he prepared
  To play the "March of Callum Dhu;"
Our Budgeree surveyed the pipes,
  And wondered much, that Kangaroo.

And now the instrument emits
  Preliminary grunts and groans;
Notes, wild and fitful, rise and swell—
  The chanter struggles with the drones.
And louder yet, and wilder still,
  The pibroch swells—when madly flew—
Crash! smash! dash!-—through the window panes
  Our peaceful pet, our Kangaroo!

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The narrative is very sad—
  Full ten feet high, from off his tail,
He'd sprung; he couldn't understand
  The martial music of the Gael.
We gallop'd home in hopes to find
  Him safe and sound; but not a clue
From that time out we ever found
  Of Budgeree, our Kangaroo.

And often now on New Year's Day,
  When sound the war notes of the Celt
Through New Edina's streets, old times
  Rush back, and cause my eyes to melt
Fond mem'ry conjures up that night
  In Tapley's pub. at Bangaboo,
When Budgeree left home and friends,
  And fled afar—poor Kangaroo!

Yes! yes! whene'er I hear the pipes,
  Old scenes will rise before my gaze,—
I see the homestead lawn in spring,
  Where wealthy wattles, all ablaze,
Made scented sunshades for the lambs;—
  But bah! I'm getting "quite too too:"
I talk just like a bleating bard,
  While dreaming of that Kangaroo.

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