“Gunpowder too, a hob-nailed shoe,
He stirred into his pottage;
Some Irish stew, a pound of glue,
A high explosive sausage.
“The deed was done, that frightful one,
With glare of vulture famished,
Blew out the light, and in the night
Gave several howls, and vanished.
“Our thieving lout, ensconced without,
Came through the window slinking;
He grabbed the pot and on the spot
Began to eat like winking.
“He ate the lot, this guzzling sot
Such appetite amazes—
Until those high explosives wrought
Within his tum a loud report,
And blew him all to blazes.
“For him who steals ill-gotten meals
Our moral is a good un.
We hope he feels that it reveals
The danger he is stood in
Who steals a high explosive bomb,
Mistaking it for Puddin’.”
The puddin’-thieves wept loudly while this severe rebuke was being administered, and promised, with sobs, to amend their evil courses, and in the future to abstain from unlawful puddin’-snatching.
“Your words,” said the Possum, “has pierced our brains with horror and remorse;” and the Wombat added: “From this time onwards our thoughts will be as far removed from Puddin’ as is the thoughts of angels.”
“We have heard that before,” said Bunyip Bluegum; “but let us hope that this time your repentance is sincere. Let us hope that the tenderness of your snouts will be, if I may be permitted a flight of poetic fancy, a guiding star to lure your steps along the path of virtue—
“For he who finds his evil course is ended
By having of his snout severely bended,
Along that path of virtue may be sent
Where virtuous snouts are seldom ever bent.”
With that the puddin’-thieves went over the hill, the sun went down and evening arrived, punctual to the minute.
“Ah,” said Bill, “it’s a very fortunate thing that evenin’s come along at this time, for, if it hadn’t, we couldn’t have waited dinner any longer. But, before preparin’ for a night of gaiety, dance, and song, I have a proposal to put before my feller Puddin’-owners. I propose to invite our friend Ben here to join us round the camp fire. He has proved himself a very decent feller, free with his eggs, and as full of revenge against puddin’-thieves as ourselves.”
“Hospitably spoken,” said Bunyip Bluegum, and the Puddin’owners sang==
“Come join us we intreat,
Come join us we implore,
In Friendship’s name our guest we claim,
And Friendship’s name is law.
“We’ve Puddin’ here a treat,
We’ve Puddin’ here galore;
Do not decline to stay and dine,
Our Puddin’ you’ll adore.
“Our Puddin’, we repeat,
You really cannot beat,
And here are we its owners three
Who graciously intreat
You’ll be at our request,
The Puddin’-owners’ guest.”
“For these sentiments of esteem, admiration, and respect,” said Ben, “I thank you. As one market gardener to three Puddin’-owners, I may say I wouldn’t wish to eat the Puddin’ of three finer fellers than yourselves.”