The Curing of Young Fred McPhee

The Curing of Young Fred McPhee

On the outer Paroo where most septics are few
and the outhouse has still pride of place;
Poor old Toby McPhee worked a small property
with his son and his darling wife Grace.

When the milking was due and the harvesting too,
his son Fred seemed to just disappear.
Though they looked everywhere this bewildered old pair
found no trace of their poor little dear.

I’ve the paddock to plough and I need the boy now
as the horses are harnessed to go.
Then he saw the smoke rise and to Toby’s surprise;
’twas the outhouse that hid Fred you know.

“So the silly young bloke seems to fancy a smoke.
well I’ve just the right cure then for him.”
As he led the horse team Toby’s eyes gave a gleam
and the lazy lad’s future looked dim.

He then hooked the team to the log skids on the loo,
while the slack was worked out of the chain.
With the reins in his hand he then gave the command
and both horses then took up the strain.

Poor young Fred he was perched on the seat when it lurched,
though soon ended up down on the floor.
With Fred’s pants ’round his knees Toby heard his wild pleas,
but he goaded his horses some more.

The lad’s fag hit the pan and a fire soon began
with the paper and sawdust alight.
Then the skids hit a hollow and what was to follow
was one hell of a horrible sight.

That pan flew in the air and though Fred crouched in prayer
all the angels they must have been out.
For the team in a trot had sent airborne the lot
and the contents were scattered about.

Toby’s lungs out of air he then reined in the pair
and the curing had come to a close.
Fred emerged from the door looking terribly sore,
while the pong was quite strong on the nose.

When there’s work now to do on the outer Paroo
poor young Fred he has sweat on his brow,
for he saves all his dough, but it’s not for smokes though,
as he’s putting the septic in now.

From the book Laughter & Tears from the Bush.

4 replies on “The Curing of Young Fred McPhee”


Only you could weave a tale so believably and so humorously!

You outdo even yourself with this one. I almost feel sorry for Fred.
At least he was a good student, even if the tuition was a bit smelly.



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