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Thursday 30 January 2014: The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo

Back to blipping stamps again. Thanks to a quick check in the intertubes I have identified this Royal Mail stamp as being issued in 2002 for the Centenary of Publication of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. The picture on this stamp is for the story of "The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo".

The story is now in the public domain, so here is the poem at the end of it:

THIS is the mouth-filling song
of the race that was run by a Boomer,
Run in a single burst--only event of its kind--
Started by big God Nqong from Warrigaborrigarooma,
Old Man Kangaroo first: Yellow-Dog Dingo behind.

Kangaroo bounded away,
His back-legs working like pistons--
Bounded from morning till dark,
Twenty-five feet to a bound.
Yellow-Dog Dingo lay
Like a yellow cloud in the distance--
Much too busy to bark.
My! but they covered the ground!

Nobody knows where they went,
Or followed the track that they flew in,
For that Continent
Hadn't been given a name.
They ran thirty degrees,
From Torres Straits to the Leeuwin
(Look at the Atlas, please),
And they ran back as they came.

S'posing you could trot
From Adelaide to the Pacific,
For an afternoon's run
Half what these gentlemen did
You would feel rather hot,
But your legs would develop terrific--
Yes, my importunate son,
You'd be a Marvellous Kid!

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