The Alphabet Club - Saturday detention for "M" ....

is for 

Okay, so let me explain - my first M is Mad Max, of course!  Not the one with Tom Hardy (very disappointing, I thought although Charlize Theron was fantastic!) but our very own Mel Gibson, of course (before he turned into an idiot) -when he was young and gorgeous!

... and of course, he is driving along the Mad Max Highway - just as we did in this post and this one!

Next up are Magpies, now in nesting season they are a real danger to cyclists Downunder - so much so that you need to resort to wearing sunglasses on the back of your bike helmet or spikes!

My last M is the iconic poem by one of our most famous poets,  A.B. "Banjo" Patterson.  Everyone in Australia has heard of the famous The Man from Snowy River.

THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER by A.B. "Banjo" Paterson

There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses - he was worth a thousand pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
And the stockhorse snuffs the battle with delight.

There was Harrison, who made his pile when Pardon won the cup,
The old man with his hair as white as snow;
But few could ride beside him when his blood was fairly up -
He would go wherever horse and man could go.
And Clancy of the Overflow came down to lend a hand,
No better horseman ever held the reins;
For never horse could throw him while the saddle girths would stand,
He learnt to ride while droving on the plains.

And one was there, a stripling on a small and weedy beast,
He was something like a racehorse undersized,
With a touch of Timor pony - three parts thoroughbred at least -
And such as are by mountain horsemen prized.
He was hard and tough and wiry - just the sort that won't say die -
There was courage in his quick impatient tread;
And he bore the badge of gameness in his bright and fiery eye,
And the proud and lofty carriage of his head.

But still so slight and weedy, one would doubt his power to stay,
And the old man said, "That horse will never do
For a long a tiring gallop - lad, you'd better stop away,
Those hills are far too rough for such as you."
So he waited sad and wistful - only Clancy stood his friend -
"I think we ought to let him come," he said;
"I warrant he'll be with us when he's wanted at the end,
For both his horse and he are mountain bred.

"He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko's side,
Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough,
Where a horse's hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride,
The man that holds his own is good enough.
And the Snowy River riders on the mountains make their home,
Where the river runs those giant hills between;
I have seen full many horsemen since I first commenced to roam,
But nowhere yet such horsemen have I seen."

So he went - they found the horses by the big mimosa clump -
They raced away towards the mountain's brow, 
And the old man gave his orders, "Boys, go at them from the jump, 
No use to try for fancy riding now. 
And, Clancy, you must wheel them, try and wheel them to the right. 
Ride boldly, lad, and never fear the spills, 
For never yet was rider that could keep the mob in sight, 
If once they gain the shelter of those hills."

So Clancy rode to wheel them - he was racing on the wing 
Where the best and boldest riders take their place, 
And he raced his stockhorse past them, and he made the ranges ring 
With the stockwhip, as he met them face to face. 
Then they halted for a moment, while he swung the dreaded lash, 
But they saw their well-loved mountain full in view, 
And they charged beneath the stockwhip with a sharp and sudden dash, 
And off into the mountain scrub they flew.

Then fast the horsemen followed, where the gorges deep and black 
Resounded to the thunder of their tread, 
And the stockwhips woke the echoes, and they fiercely answered back 
From cliffs and crags that beetled overhead. 
And upward, ever upward, the wild horses held their way, 
Where mountain ash and kurrajong grew wide; 
And the old man muttered fiercely, "We may bid the mob good day, 
No man can hold them down the other side."

When they reached the mountain's summit, even Clancy took a pull, 
It well might make the boldest hold their breath, 
The wild hop scrub grew thickly, and the hidden ground was full 
Of wombat holes, and any slip was death. 
But the man from Snowy River let the pony have his head, 
And he swung his stockwhip round and gave a cheer, 
And he raced him down the mountain like a torrent down its bed, 
While the others stood and watched in very fear.

He sent the flint stones flying, but the pony kept his feet, 
He cleared the fallen timber in his stride, 
And the man from Snowy River never shifted in his seat - 
It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride. 
Through the stringybarks and saplings, on the rough and broken ground, 
Down the hillside at a racing pace he went; 
And he never drew the bridle till he landed safe and sound, 
At the bottom of that terrible descent.

He was right among the horses as they climbed the further hill, 
And the watchers on the mountain standing mute, 
Saw him ply the stockwhip fiercely, he was right among them still,
As he raced across the clearing in pursuit. 
Then they lost him for a moment, where two mountain gullies met 
In the ranges, but a final glimpse reveals 
On a dim and distant hillside the wild horses racing yet, 
With the man from Snowy River at their heels.

And he ran them single-handed till their sides were white with foam. 
He followed like a bloodhound on their track, 
Till they halted cowed and beaten, then he turned their heads for home, 
And alone and unassisted brought them back. 
But his hardy mountain pony he could scarcely raise a trot, 
He was blood from hip to shoulder from the spur; 
But his pluck was still undaunted, and his courage fiery hot, 
For never yet was mountain horse a cur.

And down by Kosciusko, where the pine-clad ridges raise 
Their torn and rugged battlements on high, 
Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze 
At midnight in the cold and frosty sky, 
And where around The Overflow the reed beds sweep and sway 
To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide, 
The man from Snowy River is a household word today, 
And the stockmen tell the story of his ride.
The Bulletin, 26 April 1890.

So, those are my three "M"s for this month.

Now, if you are not sure what The Alphabet Club is all about ....

  Well, it is the brainchild of Chiara from The Grey Tail and Jo from Serendipitous Stitching and is loosely based on the premise of the movie "The Breakfast Club" - you can see the button for The Alphabet Club on my right sidebar.

On the first Saturday of each month, members of the club have "detention" and have to post about something that will enlighten others about their culture (as blogland is so diverse).  Of course, there should/could be something stitchy in there, if possible. Each month will be a different letter of the alphabet - hence the club's name - and, of course, we started with "A" and now we are up to "M".

The Alphabet Club

If you want to see what the other detainees have been up to, please have a look here.



Anonymous said…
lovely post Kaye xx
Anthea said…
Lots of great Ozzie M stuff there Kaye... and yes Mel Gibson did become an idiot, still is I think!
Margaret said…
Always love reading your posts and finding out more Australiana!
Vickie said…
Oh my. That video with Amber. Murphy sits on my lap when I am at the desktop here, and he was quite enthralled with her screams, as I was!!!
Carol said…
Another very interesting alphabet post, Kaye! Hard to believe you are all the way to "M" already :)
Karyn said…
Great "M" post Kaye <3
Bea said…
Enjoyed your M post Kaye. Haven't bothered with the new Mad Max but I remember the original ones very well. Love story poems and that was a good one. So, that's 1/2 the alphabet done - looking forward to the second half.
Stitching Noni said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stitching Noni said…
(had to correct a spelling mistake - posting again!)
Great M post! I agree with you re the new Mad Max movie... very much a waste of time and energy watching it! Love the old Mel Gibson ones though :o)
Hugs xx
Great post. I was a big fan of the 2nd and 3rd Mad Max films too. I even had a picture of him on my desk at work.
I had to wait to comment until I'd shown my son the poem and played the video clip. It was epic! I can see why it is so popular. Do they memorise it in schools? I think they should do more of that sort of thing!
Heather said…
Great choices! I personally loved the new mad max but I didn't see the old one.
Brigitte said…
Ha! Mel as Mad Max - just gorgeous. I love these movies. A great choice for M. And that poem was completely new to me.

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