Banjo Paterson

(17 February 1864 – 5 February 1941 / New South Wales)

A Change Of Menu - Poem by Banjo Paterson

Now the new chum loaded his three-nought-three,
It's a small-bore gun, but his hopes were big.
"I am fed to the teeth with old ewe," said he,
"And I might be able to shoot a pig."
And he trusted more to his nose than ear
To give him warning when pigs were near.

Out of his lair in the lignum dark.
Where the wild duck nests and the bilbie digs,
With a whoof and a snort and a kind of bark
There rose the father of all the pigs:
And a tiger would have walked wide of him
As he stropped his tusks on a leaning limb.

Then the new chum's three-nought-three gave tongue
Like a popgun fired in an opera bouffe:
But a pig that was old when the world was young
Is near as possible bullet-proof.
(The more you shoot him the less he dies,
Unless you catch him between the eyes.)

So the new chum saw it was up to him
To become extinct if he stopped to shoot;
So he made a leap for a gidgee limb
While the tusker narrowly missed his boot.
Then he found a fork, where he swayed in air
As he gripped the boughs like a native bear.

The pig sat silent and gaunt and grim
To wait and wait till his foe should fall:
For night and day were the same to him,
And home was any old place at all.
"I must wait," said he, "till this sportsman drops;
I could use his boots for a pair of strops."

The crows that watch from the distant blue
Came down to see what it all might mean;
An eaglehawk and a cockatoo
Bestowed their patronage on the scene.
Till a far-off boundary rider said
"I must have a look -- there is something dead."

Now the new chum sits at his Christmas fare
Of a dried-up chop from a tough old ewe.
Says he, "It's better than native bear
And nearly as tender as kangaroo.
An emu's egg I can masticate,
But pork," says he, "is the thing I hate."


Comments about A Change Of Menu by Banjo Paterson

  • Muzahidul Reza (3/12/2018 11:03:00 PM)


    I am fed to the teeth with old ewe, ........ well penned (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Glen Kappy (3/12/2018 7:48:00 AM)


    My first time reading this poem or anything by Banjo Paterson. This story hooked me and had me smiling at the end. And the rhyming form was perfect for the telling. And one more thing I enjoyed—the fresh language in it—lignum dark, stropped his tusks on a hanging limb—cool! -GK (Report) Reply

  • (3/12/2018 5:02:00 AM)


    Very beautiful poem. You inspire me to write a poem in similar style. (Report) Reply

  • (3/12/2017 11:10:00 PM)


    The live video shooting of the hunter and his target, along with their movement, wonderfully narrated in this beautiful verse. (Report) Reply

  • Geoffrey Fafard (3/12/2017 8:16:00 PM)


    Now Banjo - he could tell a story that painted a picture in my mind…and then some…! (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (3/12/2017 11:32:00 AM)


    Very nice poetry. Thanks for sharing. Enjoyed. (Report) Reply

  • (3/12/2017 8:56:00 AM)


    Yes indeed! Many years ago, a neighbor who hunted was cut up by what he later described as a little pig He said, It ran out of the woods, cut my leg open, and ran away. (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (3/12/2017 4:45:00 AM)


    a hunting poem with food for thought? and a new menu! (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (3/12/2017 3:55:00 AM)


    The pig sat silent. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Muzahidul Reza (3/12/2017 12:22:00 AM)


    And he trusted more to his nose than ear
    To give him warning when pigs were near. good written
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: tiger, warning, christmas, hate, father, change, rose, home, dark, world, night, trust, hope



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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