Pansy and the Christmas Tree

CP with angel

Last January, I saw the email call for submissions from Christmas Press for their 2017 anthology,  A Christmas Menagerie. 

I spent several afternoons devising a story based on memories my mother had told me, about a Christmas she had on the family dairy farm at Federal in the 1930s when she was a girl.

Pansy and the C T

Although I have made up the characters and the plot, there really was a cranky cow called Pansy who gave my mother a black eye when being milked.

All their cows had names. This photo isn’t Pansy, the cranky cow. When we were going through photos,  sorting out names and places, Mum told me it was Anzac, a nice cow born on Anzac Day.

cow.png

The surprise Christmas meal was also true, and I know that Mum and her family had sing-a-longs with friends for which my grandfather played the fiddle. They were Methodists, and music was essential to their lives.

We celebrate Christmas without her now, but I hope Mum would be pleased that a story she gave me so many elements for is now in print.

CP anthologies

Pool Party

dog

My dog jumped in
with a cheeky grin,
my duck flapped his wing
and began to sing.

My hen scratched the edge
paddling on the ledge,
my frog leapt with vim
and began to swim.

My cow with panache
made a fearful splash!

My horse galloped in
hoping for a win.

My cat gave a yowl
hiding in a towel:

so I found him a boat,
and a coat that will float
and a sea-going hat—
for an Admiral Cat.

Julie Thorndyke