Wednesday, 4 February 2009

That darned robin

Last night, at regular intervals, I lay awake thinking of Uncle Mac's Nursery Rhymes. For younger readers, he was a forerunner of the Teletubbies etc. Did 'Children's Hour' on the BBC Home Service. Anyway we had an LP (12 inch vinyl) of nursery rhymes introduced by Uncle Mac in his slightly lugubrious voice. One of them was that rather surreal song, 'Who killed Cock Robin?' to which the answer is, '"I," said the sparrow, "with my bow and arrow. I killed Cock Robin."' I used to feel that the sparrow was a trifle smug - but not last night! I mean, it's no excuse being a distant relation, or even a near relation, of the nightingale. No bird should be singing ALL NIGHT LONG, especially within yards of our bedroom window (which Jane, for reasons of health, keeps open; and I'm right with her there). All right, our chickens used to start clucking away, but that was only at dawn. And no bird should be singing NOW; doesn't he know it's not spring? It should be pretty obvious with snow on the ground. He ought to be in a barn keeping himself warm (literary allusion) with his head under his wing. Instead here he is singing his little heart out, but the only lady listening is Jane. If I'd been able to, I'd have been tempted to emulate the sparrow.

Not really - after all, Bill Oddie might be lurking in the bushes. And in fact when I was feeling charitable - it came and went - I felt sorry for the little chap. I mean perhaps he was singing to stop hypothermia overtaking him. Or, more likely, the streetlight just over the fence which makes him think night never comes. Poor unhinged bird. Completely disorientated. I wonder if I should write to the council suggesting they turn it off for a few hours. After all, how long can he keep it up? 24/7 - it can't be good for him. It would be nice for him to survive to be a proud father of a nestful or two. And then I fell to philosophical musing, because what's undoing his nature is our interfering with the environment. Instead of allowing him his night-time, we insist on travelling at night and pretending it's day-time. How much, I wondered, of the dislocation of nature, how much disease, is ultimately caused by humans wanting their cake and eating it? A case of unintended consequences. And then we spend our time running to pick up or patch up the mess we've made - which isn't a bad thing to do, but it would be a whole lot better not messing up in the first place, methinks.

Meanwhile, pity poor old Cock Robin, chirping his heart out tonight, and tomorrow night, and.....

1 comment:

  1. Country lore tells that the birds find their sweethearts on Valentine's day so your robin is probably trying to impress the 'bird' he fancies. He''ll soon be too busy nest building to sing all night.
    Many blessings and much joy in your new home. Pat.