voices from the past


The Old Pony's Christmas

by Mary Hannay Foott (1846-1918)

Australian writer

The misspelled words and italicized words in the poem are just the way the story appeared in The Queenslander on Saturday 17 December 1887. Mary Hannay Foott was a contributor to many Australian newspapers. The Queenslander was the literary edition of the Brisbane Courier (now The Courier-Mail). The weekly literary summary was published in Brisbane, Queensland from 3 February 1866 to 22 February 1939.

This lovely Christmas story is told from the point of view of the old pony.

Just look where they've put me! There's grass to the knee
The juiciest of saltbush, the shadiest tree;
And they fenced off this pocket on purpose for me.

Last night Frank (my old master) rode down on Kildare;
When I looked in his face I knew mischief was there
And a flour-bag he tied to my tree, I declare !

My little new master came early to-day;
He is Fwrank, rising four, and his hair is like hay;
And he does love to order (but I don't obey!).

He came in the buggy, my mistress as well
A 'light weight' I love her. Her name once   was 'Nell'
But now 'tis 'mamma' why I never could tell.

My old Frank (now 'papa') drove them down with the bays
And (this family of mine really have such nice ways!)
They brought me the loveliest bundle of maize.

'I gwew it mythelf, old gway Dolo, for you,'
Said small Frank ; 'but mamma often watewed it too;
And we wish "Mewwy Chwistmas" and "How do you do ?" '

Then he peeped in 'my stocking,' and soon dragged to light
The grandest new bridle! (His face was a sight!)
'Oh, Dolo,' he cried, 'Thanta Clauth came latht night!'

About the Author

See our page on Mary Hannay Foott. Includes a linked list of all her writing available on our website.

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