In traditional form it rained heavily. And it did so the day before the show, and all night. For it wouldn’t be the annual Exposition without tractors hauling cars out of mud, and wellies being paraded by all and sundry. It’s the day that country comes to town. But time was short, for the there was footie to attend – Urchin the Younger insisted, you understand.
And the morning of the show is different to the afternoon, for that is when the judges are hard at work. The sheep pens were very busy this year, and the poultry tent seems to get noisier each year. The show-jumpers made good work of the soft ground; and the beef and dairy cattle, and those big Clydesdale beasts, know what a showground demands of them.
But it all warms up when the sheds and the tents open up, after the judges have down their rounds. By then the stockmen are heading for the ale tent, with rosettes pinned to harnesses and pens. In time the parade will begin.
Boy Urchin lapped up the exploits of Uncle Billy’s Magic Show, and was happy to escape as Girl Urchin squelched in, fresh from the am-dram class. Time was short, is it open yet? He wanted to see if his fruit kebab had a prize ticket beside it, which it didn’t.
But the Women’s Industrial shed was not without joy. There was a fourth prize for Elder Urchin for her coconut ice. And that was not a children’s competition, for the 9 year old trounced the wifies of The Rural. Her fruit kebab too impressed the judges, with a ticket and coin as a reward.
But the big news in The Shed was reserved for the raspberry jam, the one with the gingham lid. For beside it rests a card, a red one, First Prize. And it’s the same batch that failed to interest the judge at The Rural the other night. Now if only we had award-winning wheaten scones to spread it on. There’s always next year.