The Man from Okinawa

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Inspired by moonphish's wonderful poetry (get over there and read him if you haven't already) I thought I'd post one of mine.

Apologies to Banjo Paterson (author of Waltzing Matilda) for writing a parody on his best-loved poem, The Man from Snowy River.

Submitted: July 19, 2012

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Submitted: July 19, 2012

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There was movement on the mountain for the word had passed around
That the Corryong Cup was getting under way
And had drawn hang glider pilots who were very well-renowned—
They had gathered for the contest there, that day.

And one drove up, a Japanese, a dapper little bloke
He had a brand new glider for the flight:
His topless, high-performance kite was certain to provoke
A lot of envy at the launching site.

Then they went!

The wind was gusting from the south as each man flew
His glider from that rocky mountain's brow;
And circled in a thermal that was climbing overhead
To gain the altitude he needed now.

And far above, an eagle, with a twinkle in her eye
Was watching all the gliders as they rose
Till she saw young Takahashi as his new kite rose on high
Then she grinned a birdish grin and flew in close.

Well, the eagle caught the Japanese, completely unaware—
Attacking from above, behind his sail;
Her talons found his leading edge, and stripped the fabric bare:
And he dived, with the mighty eagle on his tail.

He raced between the climbing kites that circled from below,
He dodged from left to right as down he sped;
But he couldn't shake the eagle loose, or make the thing let go,
And tried for safety on the ground instead.

While far below the watchers viewed the terrifying chase
They whooped, and laughed, and cheered the eagle on;
As they watched the brand new glider with its sail a tattered mess
And its pilot's hopes of winning now long gone.

But little Takahashi never faltered on that flight
He skimmed along above a mountain track,
Till at last he shook the eagle off his battered, tattered kite
And alone and unassisted brought it back.

And when, along the Murray, barbecues are under way,
And Fosters' beer fuels tales throughout the night:
Little Takahashi is a household word today,
And the pilots tell the story of his flight.

alt

It's a true story. Well, almost...

The eagle was a feature on Mount Mittamatite for years and often flew alongside the gliders. The Japanese (I never heard his name, but Takahashi is generic) was the only person she ever attacked and it really was the maiden flight for his new, high performance glider. He had combined a trip to Australia to collect it with a week at Corryong to compete in the Cup.

When the eagle attacked he didn't head for the ground—he stayed up and kept flying until he was clear of her territory. He flew on all five days of the competition but each time he went up she attacked again. Maybe she didn't like the colour; maybe she was a racist.

*

Every kid of my generation who grew up in Australia knew and lovedThe Man from Snowy River. Poetry has dropped out of vogue since then and the modern generation probably would never have heard of it if it hadn't been made into a successful movie, followed by a popular TV series. For those of you who would like to hear Banjo Paterson's original, inspiring poem, here's a YouTube link backed by scenes from the movie. Take the time to listen. It'll stir your soul.

http://youtu.be/fs_-DKUimeo


© Copyright 2017 Dozy. All rights reserved.

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