This page contains a collection of improbable yarns from Kel in Far North Queensland. They are NOT intended to be taken seriously.
The Princely Student
Uncle Bill was headmaster of a posh school which was attended by a certain member of the Royal Family, we’ll call him Charles. When Uncle Bill welcomed him to the school he asked Charles to look over the pupils on Day 2.
When Charles came down he was dressed in a Scottish outfit, skirt, sporran and all, and had a fox skin on his bead. When he reviewed the school Uncle Bill told him it went very well, but why the fox skin on his head with the tail down the back and the nose over his forehead? It seemed strange.
Charles said, “Well, when I was trying to get dressed I had to ring the palace and ask Mummy what kind of clothes I would use. Mummy said to wear the Scottish gear. Then I rang and asked her what socks I would wear, and she decided I should wear tartan socks. Then I called Mummy a third time and I asked her what kind of shoes. Mummy said wear the ones with the silver buckles. I’ve never bad to dress myself, you see.”
Uncle Bill thought this over and asked, “Yes, it all looked great, but why the skin of a fox on your head?”
Charles said, “Well, actually, Mummy was getting a bit testy about all the phone calls, and when I rang the seventh time about what hat to wear Mummy asked where I was ringing from. I said Timbertop School, of course, and Mummy said, “Wear the fox hat”.
My uncle Bill was working on a sheepstation out West but never talked about it very much. However, one day he had bad a few sherbets and opened up to us about life in the rough.
“How big was this place, Uncle Bill?” we asked. “Well”, he said, “when someone came to the front door of the main house they would ring the doorbell and the maids would hear it. They left the rear of the place to come to the front door and they’d take a cut lunch. It was a big place.
We had three ten-thousand gallon tanks near the cookhouse, and all had fifty horse outboard motors fitted. One was for soup, one was for custard and the other was for gravy. There were quite a lot of blokes to feed. We used railway sleepers as kindling wood for the fires to boil it up.”
Of course we had to ask about stock, and my brother wanted to know how many sheep they had. Uncle Bill thought about this for a while, and then he said, “I couldn’t honestly say how many sheep we had on that run, but we had four thousand, two hundred and thirtythree sheep dogs”.
What about the shearing shed ?. "I can't remember the detail but the boss had a team of horses to ride up and down the boards. They used a main-line loco and goods wagons to move the bales of wool within the shed. It WAS a BIG place".
Uncle Bill told us about fishing on the Murray River and trying to get a Murray Cod. They fished for hours without a bite until an old hand told them the surest bait was a rare frog, a green one with a yellow belly and two green stripes on each foot.
They looked for one for an hour or more and finally got one small frog. Uncle Bill put it on and caught a 65 lb Murray Cod first cast. They couldn’t find another for love nor money so they all sat down for a drink.
Bill had a bottle of OP rum in his hand when he felt something near his leg. It was a huge tiger snake with one of those frogs in its mouth.
Uncle Bill was a quick thinker so he belted the joe blake across the head, knocked it rotten, and pinched the frog. He had another cod in two minutes.
The snake was lying looking almost dead so be took pity on it, held its mouth open and poured in a good dollop of OP rum. The snake slithered off very slowly into the scrub.
Twenty minutes later Uncle Bill felt a tap on his leg. He looked down and there was the snake with another frog in its mouth. He swears this was true too.
Uncle Bill told us about a pumpkin he grew when he was younger. They had a secret fertliser which made the pumpkins huge.
In fact, he told us about one pumpkin they were taking to the Sydney Show and it fell off the 20-ton low loader in transit. One lane of the highway was blocked and he was told to get it fixed very quickly or else!
So Uncle Bill got my dad to help him. They hired a pneumatic outfit and, rather than move the pumpkin, they decided to drill a tunnel through to let the traffic flow. They got it well under way and were halfway through when a seed fell down and broke me dad’s collarbone.
Uncle Bill was pretty dirty with the insurance mob. They wouldn‘t pay out a cent because Uncle Bill and Dad forgot to shore up the tunnel as they drilled.
He swears this was exactly what happened and that’s why me dad never could reach his pocket with his bad arm when it was his shout at the pub.