Copyright Clancy Tucker (c)
Quote of the day:
"Too many people are trying to meet the right person
instead of trying to be the right person."
THE EARL of EILDON
Time for some comic relief. Here is a simple bush poem I wrote for a local contest - to name a statue designed by renowned sculptor, Bruno Torfs. The statue is life-size and sits in a small park at our local shopping centre and it has been designed so people can sit in front of the Earl and have their photographs taken. Why a fisherman? Well, this area is renowned for all types of fishing. The entire province has more rivers than any other province in Australia. Plus, we have the mighty Eildon Weir - 525 kilometres in circumfrence.
The statue is quite enchanting. The Earl is wearing an old fashioned knapsack, high leather boots, a bushy moustache and has a decent crop of wavy hair that sits on his shoulders. Peeking out of that knapsack is a mouse and some fish fins. Sitting on the knapsack is a Kookaburra and, most days, the Earl is clasping a fishing rod. Before I wrote this poem I wrote down all that I could see. Then, in a mad moment of imagination, I wrote the following, recalling all the times and places I'd been fishing in this province. The rhyme and rhythm is probably awful ... but it's nice to win a contest - any contest, eh?
It was long ago when I first saw him,
gone fishin’ to Royston on just a whim.
As I patiently sat for trout to bite,
he came outta nowhere and gave me a fright.
He arrived from what I’d call a cloud,
a mist, or maybe a silver shroud,
that hung around him ‘ere he went,
like a halo around a spiritual gent.
It was at a spot I rarely fished,
on a sunny day when trout I wished.
Damper was fine and bunnie stew,
that day I wanted a fish or two.
The Royston River ran all year round,
last time there I caught a pound.
Of rainbow trout and brownies too,
a day I hoped to catch more than two.
T’was on the Royston near Quartz Creek Road,
when first I sighted that curious toad.
The oddest fella you’d ever see,
there we were just him and me.
I stared at him and he at me,
each of us thinkin’: “Who is he?”
He didn’t shake my hand or smile,
in fact he said nothin’ for quite a while.
“G’day!” I said for somethin’ to say,
he stared right back and replied “G’day!”
I asked him to join me in a billy tea,
gladly enough he agreed with me.
Now I musta sat and fished and spoke,
for many hours with that amazing bloke.
He seemed so odd in a curious way,
but I liked his style let me say.
I had some doubts from whence he came,
but never questioned his wonderful name.
“The Earl of Eildon” he called himself,
he lived way up on the Royston shelf.
Now the Earl could fish, there was no doubt,
he wooed his prey and caught big trout.
How he did I’m stuffed to say,
we used the very same bait that day.
The Earl would fish like none I know,
his catch could make you feel quite low.
Like me that day I have to say,
he caught ten, I one for the day.
It musta bin late when my first fish struck,
I stood up tall and hoped for luck.
The rod bent over like you want it to,
I reeled in a Rainbow, a pound or two.
It flipped and jumped, I pulled it in,
just happy to feel lucky agin.
The Earl had beaten me all damn day,
now I wondered what he’d say.
I glanced his way in search of he,
not a sign of him was there to see.
Shocked and dazed I scratched my chin,
the Eildon Earl had missed my win.
All of a sudden a mist blew in,
shrouding the spot where I’d seen him.
It was spooky stuff let me say,
that day with the Earl up Rubicon way.
Lookin’ back on that mysterious bloke,
people might think it was just a joke.
But trust me folks I promise you this,
the Earl was real and could pull the fish.
Recalling his appearance that very day,
makes me smile in a curious way.
I never did see the Earl again,
he sure wasn’t like us ordinary men.
Two items stood out when I glanced his way,
one a parasol, to keep the sun away.
The other was a Kooka, that was his mate,
it perched on his bag to share what he ate.
He sat on the bank with a happy glare,
eyes fixed keenly, resembling a stare.
His bag was jammed full of trout,
with his Kookaburra mate waiting to shout.
The Earl had seen a busy life,
no doubt had also witnessed strife.
His rounded chin and wistful smile,
portrayed a man of infinite style.
His boots were leather, tough and tall,
like the vest he wore at a moment’s call.
When the lure of a bite would beckon his mind,
he’d head to Eildon where trout he’d find.
Sight of the Earl in Eildon town,
would often produce a generous frown.
When strangers saw his mop of hair,
they often stopped and gave a stare.
The Earl to those who knew him well,
knew what to say and what to tell.
Of a man who loved, three things most,
Eildon, trout and a town to boast.
Now you may wonder how he got his name,
I’m glad you asked coz I asked the same.
That day I sat up Rubicon way,
with the Earl of Eildon on that day.
His words to me were vague indeed,
they led me to an urgent need.
To find out how he fished supreme,
and why my catch was just a dream.
Many years have come and past,
but fondest memories will always last.
Of the greatest ”fisher” man has seen,
who ever was and ever been.
The Earl has earned a rightful place,
in this town and the human race.
As the greatest fisher of trout there be,
it must be so, I was there to see.
The Earl of Eildon is now with us all,
depicted as a statue in our Mall.
For one and all to view and see,
the ultimate fisherman we want to be.