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Farewell to two young birds

A young Robin appeared, wild and free,

Tawny, fledged but late of recent nest

Found and then bravely adopted me.

Without fear, it spoke and said Domest-

-Icate me! And no-one could refuse,

Could they? Such trusting bold confidence.

Just as if an orphan had said “Please”

With a youngster's winsome nonchalance.

For days and weeks he would come to find

Me out, and stay close within reach, or

At least not appearing much to mind

Such dire nearness of a predator.

Then he would chitter for attention

Where’er outside I happened to be;

Sometimes alighting with a thump on

Some place I sat absent-mindedly.

And then…

A thump above our heads made us

Look up. And through the perspex glaze

Could see the immobile pullus.

Cast from its nest lying there dazed.

A second charge afforded us.

This one without parents to aid

Itself: Passer domesticus.

And all the while we were afraid.

Afraid we would feed it wrong, and

In vain ignorance let it die.

Wary to take food from our hand -

- Before hunger made it comply.

When he outgrew his box of card,

Bought a cage to put him in. So

Much he railed at the steel that barred

His wings, we had to let him go.

He may have fed, we didn't see.

And despite all worry and care,

We'll never know if he lives free.

Wild things of course must take their share

Of life's severe vicissitudes

And make their way, as best they may.


We watch nature in all her moods

As safe as houses, night and day.

© R M Meyer

Winswell Water, August 2018