voices from the past


The Magic Pudding

Written and Illustrated by Norman Lindsay (1879 - 1969)

. . . the story continues . . .

But at length they had to stop, in spite of these encouraging remarks, and, as they refused to eat any more, the Puddin' got out of his basin, remarking —'If you won't eat any more here's giving you a run for the sake of exercise', and he set off so swiftly on a pair of extremely thin legs that Bill had to run like an antelope to catch him up.

'My word,' said Bill, when the Puddin' was brought back.

'You have to be as smart as paint to keep this Puddin' in order. He's that artful, lawyers couldn't manage him. Put your hat on, Albert, like a little gentleman,' he added, placing the basin on his head. He took the Puddin's hand, Sam took the other, and they all set off along the road. A peculiar thing about the Puddin' was that, though they had all had a great many slices off him, there was no sign of the place whence the slices had been cut.

'That's where the Magic comes in,' explained Bill. 'The more you eats the more you gets. Cut-an'-come-again is his name, an' cut, an' come again, is his nature. Me an' Sam has been eatin' away at this Puddin' for years, and there's not a mark on him. Perhaps,' he added, 'you would like to hear how we came to own this remarkable Puddin'.'

'Nothing would please me more,' said Bunyip Bluegum.

'In that case,' said Bill, 'let her go for a song.'

'Ho, the cook of the Saucy Sausage,
Was a feller called Curry and Rice,
A son of a gun as fat as a tun
With a face as round as a hot-cross bun,
Or a barrel, to be precise.

'One winter's morn we rounds the Horn,
A-rollin' homeward bound.
We strikes on the ice, goes down in a trice,
And all on board but Curry and Rice
And me an' Sam is drowned.

'For Sam an' me an' the cook, yer see,
We climbs on a lump of ice,
And there in the sleet we suffered a treat
For several months from frozen feet,
With nothin' at all but ice to eat,
And ice does not suffice.

'And Sam and me we couldn't agree
With the cook at any price.
We was both as thin as a piece of tin
While that there cook was busting his skin
On nothin' to eat but ice.

'Says Sam to me, "It's a mystery
More deep than words can utter;
Whatever we do, here's me an' you,
Us both as thin as Irish stoo,
While he's as fat as butter."

'But late one night we wakes in fright
To see by a pale blue flare,
That cook has got in a phantom pot
A big plum-duff an' a rump-steak hot,
And the guzzlin' wizard is eatin' the lot,
On top of the iceberg bare.'

'There's a verse left out here,' said Bill, stopping the song, 'owin' to the difficulty of explainin' exactly what happened, when me and Sam discovered the deceitful nature of that cook. The next verse is as follows —

'Now Sam an' me can never agree
What happened to Curry and Rice.
The whole affair is shrouded in doubt,
For the night was dark and the flare went out,
And all we heard was a startled shout,
Though I think meself, in the subsequent rout,
That us bein' thin, an' him bein' stout,
In the middle of pushin' an' shovin' about,

1st Slice pages:   one   two   three   four   five
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