The Aboliar

Year: 1916


           by 'P.Flam' (Peter Airey) 

The Aboliar’s a cheery soul,  
Though prone to malediction;  
He writes, to gain a golden goal,  
A blend of fact and fiction;  
He tells the most enthralling tales  
To passing tramp and stranger,  
Of Murray cod and Darling whales  
And ’scapes from deadly danger.

They cradled him beneath the gum  
Beside the Lachlan River,  
’Twas there he heard the bunyip hum  
And saw the boogam shiver;  
When morning rose in callow glee  
And drove the dark abhorred,  
It gilt the locks that curled so free  
About his truthful forehead.

He snuggled with the native bear  
And cuddled with the ’possum ;  
He tracked the adder to its lair  
And sucked the wattle-blossom;  
He found the emu’s hidden nest  
And knew the native lingo  
Of ev’ry tribe that prowled the West  
Or camped beside the dingo.   
He’s made a meal of prickly pear  
And dined on quandong[2] custard;  
He knows the flavour, rich and rare,  
Of roasted crow and mustard;  
He’s made a dish of jumper ants[3]
Would make an angel hanker,  
And tramped a week without his pants  
When Pine Creek[4]ran a banker.  

There’s not a mile of dry Paroo[5]
But in and out he knows it;  
There’s not a brand of deadly brew  
But he can tell who grows it;  
There’s not a legend deeply blue  
Among the lies that meet you  
But he will find, among his crew,  
Another yarn to beat you.   

Romancing is his daily dram,  
He pines for nothing better;  
Sapphira [6]was his olden dam,  
Munchausen[7] his begetter;  
He loves to gild the landscape near  
With all the hues of distance,  
He dips his brush in paint, or beer,  
And glorifies Existence!


P. FLAM.  

The Bulletin 18 May 1916 p24


[1] A name for a contributor to the ‘Aboriginalities’ column in the Bulletin, which appeared from 1885-1960. Originally used to describe a contributor who exaggerated their experiences, it came to be used for any contributor.

[2] A native Australian berry, can be made into jam.

[3]  A venomous ant found in Tasmania and South Eastern mainland Australia, known for its ability to leap up to 75mm.

[4] I think this is a creek near Katherine in the Northern Territory, where gold was discovered in 1871.

[5]  A series of waterholes in sough west Queensland and western NSW, that when flooded forms part of the Darling river system.

[6] Biblical figure struck dead for lying in Acts, Chapter 5.

[7] Baron Munchausen, a fictional German nobleman known for telling impossibly exaggerated stories about his life and experiences. Created by Rudolf Erich Raspe, in 1785.