When I was young, of tender year,
I was sent to the butcher shop,
And left the house with a heart of cheer,
With instructions not to stop
For the butcher shop was quite some way
And the road was uphill straight,
I paused as I heard our neighbour say
“Nice day for yer shoppin mate!”
In roadside dust you could see a glint
Of the gold dust sparkling there,
On rainy days you could catch a hint
Of the gold claims now mined bare.
I topped that hill and gazed around
At the distant mountains clear,
My pace increased with a joyful bound
As I viewed those vistas dear.
Allan the Butcher yelled, “Hello!”
I stretched to my four foot height,
And passed the note in the afterglow
Of my recent uphill flight.
Arch was there in the butcher shop
He gave his usual greeting,
We gathered round, and our eyes would pop
When we heard of his big fight beating
Arch was Australia’s fighting great
So we listened in with pride,
Old and grey but his back was straight,
As we all stood round inside.
Soon farmer Smith, his wife behind
Came in through the old front door,
His skin was red, her face was lined
He spoke with a square set jaw.
We all left Arch and gathered round
They told of the sale in town,
Five good cows and a horse he’d found
And he’d beat the owners down.
We all gave out a hearty cheer
When Dave the baker came,
He sparred with Arch who showed no fear
In his comrade’s friendly game
Pop showed up for his salt beef side
And he joined in all the fun,
Smiths went out for their long home ride
And they waved to everyone.
Grandma Jones with her panting dog
Pushed in through the swinging door,
She ordered bones and side of hog
As the dog sniffed round the floor
I sat with Arch as crowds pressed near
We watched as they left the shop,
He told of fights of yesteryear
And the punch that made him stop!
So happy in the friendly clime
Of this country gathering place,
I hadn’t really checked the time
Now the music I must face.
I hastened home with wrapped up pack
I ran with a guilty fear,
Thoughts of pain from the paddy whack
I would get as the house drew near.
Mother smiled, as I rushed on in
My heart was about to stop,
She brushed aside my imagined sin
She had been to that butcher shop.
“© Copyright Ian Grice 2014 All rights reserved”
The old butcher shop I have described really did exist as I grew up in Gympie, Australia, and it was as much fun to visit there as the poem implies. Arch Bradley was a professional fighter of national renown.
Later as a cadet in an accounting firm after I started work I got to audit the accounting records of that shop. As you can imagine they were not very good at keeping records.
22 thoughts on “Lobb’s Butcher Shop”
This lovely piece of yours sang special notes Ian and I love the feeling of community and heritage that is evoked. 🙂
Community and heritage is what gives life its little pleasures
Yes Ian, I hope you all have a lovely day. 🙂
Love the sense of time and place. It’s hard to get that community feel in the big city where everyone has smart phones.
Specially when they are all filed in human filing cabinets as the Singaporeans love to describe their high rise housing. lol
I hadn’t actually heard that one! But it does ring true 🙂
loved this piece Ian. I could just imagine you at the butchers shop. it was almost as good as a rerun of Happy Days. thanks for including me. I can’t wait to get into my unit and start writing again.
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:49:32 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
I guess it was a Happy Days experience. lol
A very evocative rendering Ian! I can well imagine the state of his record books! 🙂
Probably kept that way to manipulate reporting to the Tax Office! lol
Hey, nice job, you. Easy rhythm, fun storytelling.
“My pace increased with a joyful bound
As I viewed those vistas dear.” One of my fav lines.
I like the Ballard style of poetry as well as other traditional formats. Another top favourite of mine is the Sonnet.
Keep up what brings you pleasure. =)
This was a true troubadour telling Ian. I had such fun reading it and could hear it in my head in a voice other than my own. Wonderfully done!
So you like bush poetry too? lol
I like all sorts of things. I definitely liked this.
Genuine ballad with great rhythm and rhyme. I love it – creates a great atmosphere and what a memory!
It was a place of excitement to this small boy. lol
What a fun poem to read sweet Ian. Reminded me of the old country store my grandpa would walk my sister and me to and buy us penny candy. It was always fun to go there and the trip was never short. It was much like the butcher shop you wrote of. It would be wonderful to still have places like that. Great poem. Hugs
I remember all those corner shop stores before supermarkets became the big place to shop
Love how the poem rhymed as you took us to the butcher’s shop and sat us down to enjoy the company. Good for him that his Mother’s been there, lingered there 🙂
Account keeping – most such proprietorships pretty much have a pail – money goes in, money comes out – whatever is left behind at the end of the day – Gawd, is that all we made for the day?
Cheerful post, Ian and thank you,
I guess such small businesses in that era hoped the Tax people would not know their true income. But even in those days the tax gurus had some sophisticated tools to get a fairly accurate picture of income. lol