By Philip Rush (Published here for kids to rehearse for the Man From Snowy River Bush Festival in 2012)

Why is it, when we need them most.
Machines we use give up the ghost?
Whipper-snippers, mowers too,
Chainsaws, whether old or new,
All decide to fade and die,
At some untimely moment. Why?

We have a tank up on the hill,
Which regularly, I have to fill,
From other tanks, which fill again,
Each time we get a decent rain.
The hilltop tank is needed so,
The water in our taps will flow.

Of late we've had a dryish spell,
And it's not difficult to tell,
Our water was a little short.
And then it rained. "Good-o!" I thought,
"I'll pump the water up tonight;
The top tank's sounding pretty light!"

Our pump's a fire-fighting one,
For three years straight it's always run,
Reliably, and with a roar;
But this time it was feeling sore;
It coughed and blew a lot of smoke,
And finished with a feeble croak.

I asked it nicely if it could,
Behave as all machinery should.
But no! It wouldn't run at all,
Or walk, or skip, or even crawl!
Each time I tried to make it start,
It cried, as of a broken heart!

And, though we've had a lot of rain,
Our water's running short again.
The pump is at theh doctor's now,
He thinks it can be cured somehow!
Why is it, when we need them most
Machines we use give up the ghost?