(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

Fitzmickle Unbends

Mr Fitzmickle, the martinet,
Still with an iron hand
Rules house and home. Like a peevish gnome
He barks each curt command.
And he packs the family off to bed
Since a wireless 'fan' he's grown
And each obeys, while Papa stays
And harks to the Test alone.

Mr Fitzmickle, the martinet,
Sat, last Saturday night,
Glowing with pride as Australia's side
Rose to the loftiest height.
Then, just as the fun grew furious
And the batsmen forged ahead,
Came a horrible shriek, a click and a squeak;
And the speaker went stone dead!

Mr Fitzmickle, the martinet,
Fiddled, with urgent thumb,
At many a screw, in a terrible stew;
But ever the set stayed dumb.
So up the stairs in his stocking feet,
He stole to his small son there,
Whose expert hand now took command;
And the Test was again on the air.

Mr Fitzmickle, the martinet,
Frowned at his small, meek heir.
'You'll wait,' said he, 'lest the thing won't gee.
Quiet, sir! Sit over there!'
And his small son; hugging himself in glee
As the game went merrily on
Sat listening in with a rapturous grin
To the triumphs of 'Billy' and 'Don.'

Mr Fitzmickle, the martinet,
Seized with a strange wild joy,
As the centuries came, with his eye aflame,
Clutched at the startled boy . . . .
And Mrs Fitzmickle, roused from sleep,
Saw a sight to wonder at;
Fitzmickle and son, at half-past one,
Dancing a jig on the mat.

Mr Fitzmickle, the martinet,
Said with a sheepish grin,
'Why, Mother's here! Sit down, my dear,
Sit down and listen in!' . . .
And the small son whispered - when all was o'er,
And the winter dawn began
In his mother's ear: 'Ma, ain't it queer.
Pappas's just like a man!'

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