A parody on John Shaw Neilson’s The Orange Tree
The boy came rushing to my door.
He said: “Come see what I just saw!
A flyin’ fox it’s sure to be;
It’s hangin’ in your Mango Tree.”
I said: “Is it a fluffy thing?
A ghostly zephyr on the wing?
Does it in hard shoes do a jig?
Has it a mate in yonder fig?
And does it hum and flutter by,
With just a tiny little cry
And cling with whiskers like a bee
Unto my tender Mango Tree?”
He said: “It’s just a flyin’ fox!
For brains, I think that you’ve got rocks!
What’s all this ratbag nonsense talk?
Come shoot the thing ya stupid dork!”
I said:”But does it have blue eyes?
Does it caress you with its sighs,
And does it send a yearning plea
Far from its precious Mango Tree?
Does with the leaves it play and fight?
Could anthracnose give it a fright?
Does sunlight on its eyelids fall?
Is it far wider than it’s tall?”
The boy said “It’s a flamin’ bat!
You’re talkin’ rubbish through ya hat!
Give me the gun and then you’ll see –
I’ll blast it from the Mango Tree.”
I whispered: “Does this furry ball
With sweetest voice a lover call,
And does it hang upon a twig
And wear a powdered perfumed wig?
Does this small flying fuzzy fox
Write poetry that sooths and shocks?
Though smelly, could this mammal be,
The Shelley of the Mango Tree?”
The boy in anger took my gun
And to the Mango Tree did run.
He shot the bat ‘fore it could flee
And then chopped down my Mango Tree.
antracnose – a fungal disease of mangoes
flying fox – fruit bat