• JOHN WORSLEY SIMPSON

BIRD BOY

Updated: Jul 27, 2020

A boy I knew was poor with words, In fact, he rarely used them,

But he knew the language of the birds And often would amuse them

Sharing news and spreading rumor He’d tell them jokes in avian humor

With cheeps and chirps he learned to speak And all without the aid of beak

If in the mood for serious talk He’d tweet awhile with a studious hawk

Discussing this and that and whether Salt water stiffens up a feather

On Tuesdays he had hummingbirds for tea With tiny toast-rounds topped with brie

One day he climbed to an eagle’s eyrie And feeling then a little weary

He drifted into deep repose And, waking, found before his nose

The curving beak of a broad-winged raptor. At first he feared it was his captor

But soon found he had a different worry And tried to leave there in a hurry

The eagle aimed to be a perfect host But lacked the required rounds of toast

To feed the boy there in her house So, instead, she stuffed a piece of mouse

Between the lad’s protesting lips Followed on successive trips


With bugs of many shapes and sorts Despite the boy’s pleas and loudretorts


But the eagle, being brought up right Thought the lad was just polite


And, pleased to be hostess ideal, She fed the boy a full bird meal


And what the lad thought bad at first Looked good when then he learned the worst

For to aid the lad’s digestion after din The bird proposed a post-prandial spin

Which means that after lunch the pair Were supposed to soar into the air

The bird boy chirped with all his might That he knew not the slightest thing of flight

But the eagle ignored the explanation That the lad was ignorant of aviation

She knew that one who spoke bird so swell Would of course know how to fly as well

And with the insistence born of mother love She gave the protesting boy a gentle shove

And as a sinking feeling grew inside The boy tried desperately to glide

But while the eagle watched with shock The boy flew like a madly flapping rock

In other words, and not meant for mirth, The young fellow plummeted straight to earth


And landed with an awful crunch All twisted into a knotted bunch

But as luck will sometimes come to pass He’d fallen in a mound of grass

And the eagle screeched in great relief That the day had not ended up in grief

The boy then made a quick decision That while he would avoid derision

In future reference to his plumed pals From northern climes or tropicals

And though he’d never met a bird Who by deed or yet by word

Had tried to cause him harm Except by accident of charm

That his future course would be more sound Were he to stay quite firmly on the ground

And it had long been his secret wish To learn the language of the fish …

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