Usually, when Peter Costello gets asked about little pricks, it’s in the context of his prime ministerial ambitions. At Ashburton primary, five-year old Rourke Sheridan sought more existential answers.

“Who made cactuses?” he demanded of the Treasurer.

Mr Costello, according to most reports, hesitated. As well he might, for young Master Sheridan had touched upon a vexed theological problem.

Eventually, Costello gave the only answer possible for a believing Christian.

“God made everything,” he reasoned, “so God made cactuses.”

The kiddies apparently then sang a medley of patriotic songs. They might equally have performed Monty Python’s classic All Things Dull and Ugly, with its memorable verses:

Each little snake that poisons,
Each little wasp that stings,
He made their brutish venom,
He made their horrid wings.

All things sick and cancerous,
All evil great and small,
All things foul and dangerous,
The Lord God made them all.

Each nasty little hornet,
Each beastly little squid,
Who made the spiky urchin?
Who made the sharks? He did.

Costello will today debate Wayne Swan at the National Press Club, presumably before the usual crew of sanctimonious journalists.

If Channel 9 had any sense, they’d add a couple of five year olds to the panel.

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Peter Fray
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