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Title: The Squatters and the Blowflies
Author: W. E. Abbott and Lewis Carrol
eBook No.: 2100061h.html
Language: English
Date first posted: 2021
Most recent update: 2021

This eBook was produced by: Walter Moore

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Through the Looking-glass
The Squatters and the Blowflies
A Fairy Tale and a Prophecy

W. E. Abbott and Lewis Carrol




Part 1 — The Campaign
Part 2 — The Result

Part 1
The Campaign

The Walrus and the Carpenter
    Were walking through the land,
The lofty trees were waving green,
    The feed was something grand;
But oh! the blowflies were so thick
    You could not see your hand.

Said the Walrus to the Carpenter
    In accents low and sad:
“The grass is sweet, the water good.
    But Blowflies! awful bad,
They’ll surely eat the Squatter’s sheep
    And make the Squatters mad.

“Now, if we put the Froggatts on,
    With ninety thousand men,
And Chalcid Wasps and Poison Baits,
    Think you we’ll get them then?
We ought to if they try enough,
    And try and try again.

“And if we kiss the Blowfly men,
    And give them rum and beer,
And dress them up in pretty clothes,
    And call them love and dear.”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
    And shed a bitter tear.

“But if we breed Policeman Flies,
    As Kater says we should,
And feed them well and sool them on,
    They ought to do some good.
We’d give each Cop his proper beat,
    Now, don’t you think we could?”

“We want the mutton and the wool.
    Or Bankers may foreclose;
They’ve done it in the days gone by.
    And may again. Who knows!
So we must hurry up before
    The last merino goes.

“The stations are so very wide,
    And oh! so full of flies;
Both green and blue and brazen—and thick
    As stars in midnight skies.”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
    And wiped his streaming eyes.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
    Went walking on and on,
Through stations wide, o’er hill and plain,
    Inspecting one by one.
Said the Walrus to the Carpenter:
    “I wish those flies were gone.

“Now, if we pass a Poison Law
    With every kind of clause,
To make the Squatters kill their flies
    And hold their silly jaws.
They’re ‘bally fools,’ you know, but still
    They must obey the laws.

“And then we’ll put Inspectors on,
    As many as we can,
And give them powers unlimited
    To prosecute and ban,
And chase the Squatters up and down
    With fines on every man.

“They’ll surely wake the Squatters up,
    And drive the Blowflies out;
We must not let the sheep be lost
    While Squatters squat about.
You’re nothing but a pessimist,
    What is it that you doubt?”

Part 2
The Result

The Walrus and the Carpenter
    Were walking to and fro,
The sky was all of Prussian blue,
    The clouds were white and low;
But all the Squatters said and did,
    The Blowflies would not go.

“We’ve tried the Froggatt’s stinking baits,
    And traps of every size,
And Chalcid Wasps and Poison Laws,
    And fat Policeman Flies;
We’ve poisoned almost everything,
    The Blowfly never dies.

“Our Blowfly Men we sweetly kissed,
    And gave them rum and beer,
And dressed them up in pretty clothes,
    And called them love and dear.
Yet, ’spite of all our work and talk,
    The Blowflies still are here.

And then we put Inspectors on,
    Of every shape and size,
With certain pay for every day,
    And now and then a rise.
They still are loafing round the runs,
    And laughing with the flies.

“The Froggatts and their Blowfly Men
    Have poisoned far and wide,
And all the birds that loved the bush
    And wandered free have died.
The Blowflies only laughed and danced,
    The gentle Squatters cried.”

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
    To talk of many things;
Of shoes and ships—and sealing wax—
    Of cabbages and kings,
And why the merry Blowflies dance.
    And why they flap their wings.

“Oh, silly Squatters, you have done
    The thing you should not do;
You’ve killed the things that killed the flies,
    And now you’re feeling blue;
You’ve wasted all the beer and rum,
    Go, gather in the rue.

“You must do something drastic now.
    Something most awful grand,
Napoleonic, if you like,
    With strong, relentless hand,
Because to us it looks as if
    The Blowflies owned the land.”

“They do! They do!” the Squatters said,
    “The most of us are burst,
Our land is gone, our sheep are dead.
    They’ve done their very worst.”
“Not so,” the Carpenter replied,
    “They should have blown you first.”

“Oh! sad indeed!” the Walrus said,
    “You give me much surprise;
I weep—I weep—I weep for you,
    I deeply sympathise;
Your land is gone! Your sheep are dead!
    And nothing left but flies.”

With sobs and tears he turned away,
    His bosom rent with sighs;
The Carpenter was weeping, too—
    At least he wiped his eyes.
“We go! We go!” the Walrus said,
    “We cannot stand your flies.”

“Oh! leave us not alone in grief ?”
    The weeping Squatters cried.
“Our land is gone, our money spent,
    And all our sheep have died
Because we all obeyed the law
    And poisoned far and wide.

“We want you now to cheer us up.
    For we are feeling blue,
And if the sheep won’t keep alive,
    Come, tell us what to do.”
“The day is fine,” the Walrus said,
    Do you admire the view?”

* * * * * * * * *

“I like the Walrus best,” said Alice, “because he was a little bit sorry for the silly Squatters.”

“Blowflies have more brains than Squatters,” said Tweedledum.

“So have rabbits,” said Tweedledee.

“Poor things,” said the Red Queen, “God made them; let them pass for men.”

“They poisoned all my enemies,” said the White Rabbit.

“And all mine, too,” said the Green Blowfly.

“Dear old things, how good they were to us,” said the Blue and Brown Blowflies in chorus.

And then the Rats and Mice and Grasshoppers and Caterpillars and Crickets and Bugs and Beetles and Microbes all began to sing a new song, which has yet to be written for another generation of Australians.


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