The sun rose above the canvas,
Still moist from evening dew,
Beneath the tarp the young warb stirred,
Only partly frozen through.

The warb is just the sideshow hand,
Driving trucks and rigging tents,
Usually paid the least amount,
To lower the expense!

Crawling from his canvas cave,
Fully clothed in crisp cold air,
Notes the horses of the carousel,
Standing wooden with no care.

Icy water to splash his face,
No showers to be found,
A few tin sheds in a paddock,
Of another bush showground!

A mug of tea, a bit of toast,
With the boss beside his ‘van,
He and his missus both good folk,
Battling as well as they can!

Other warbs are passing,
Say G’day and how are you?
Heading in one direction,
The showgrounds long drop ‘loo!

The young warb gets to his feet,
Stiff limbed just like a corpse,
If this must be his working life,
His body will be warped.

A couple of grey haired ladies,
Stride slowly as they went,
With trays of scones and lamingtons,
To the Country Women’s tent!

Dodge ’em cars all parked in rows,
Steel floor of grease and dirt,
Grudgingly swept by another warb,
In shorts and tattered shirt!

Tent boxers around the campfire stand,
Brews in blue enamel mugs,
Turned up collars of their shirt,
Can’t hide the cauliflower lugs.

Past the brightly painted tent,
Of the pygmy named UBANGI,
Widely known to one and all,
From Toowoomba down to Trangie!

Fairy floss in cellophane bags,
The Kewpie dolls get dusted,
Frankfurts speared on wooden sticks,
Dagwood dogs with sauce or mustard!

Back to the little merry-go-round,
Old 78s in a stack,
For that is how the ride is times,
A short song for their Zack!

Soon the early crowds approach,
Through the rusty steel turnstiles,
To see “Belinda Lee from Tennessee”,
With the wriggling writhing reptiles.

Kids astride their snorting steeds,
Giggling and absorbed,
He is glad to hear their laughter,
Sometimes it’s good to be a WARB!

© Dudley C. Pye A.M, J.P.

[from the story, Six of the Best]

 

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