Wishing all our wonderful website readers in 49 countries across the globe the very best of Seasonal Greetings from the beautiful Kingdom of Hay-on-Wye.
Here’s a little frivolous Christmas fun which we hope raises a smile.
Partridge in a Pear Tree
by Emma van Woerkom
There are so many tales about Christmas,
It’s hard to know quite where to start.
Do reindeer really pull Santa
Sky-high on a gift-laden cart?
Are the elves who make all our presents
In Norway or from the North Pole?
And if you’ve been bad, does Black Peter
Steal me to Spain or give coal?
So this year I’d decided to prove one,
Splicing fact from quaint fantasy.
A season for stalking, in orchards eye-hawking
For a partridge in a pear tree.
Yep, birds in bushes – not rocket science.
A woodcock, a dove or a crow,
Blue tits, tree-creepers and night jars,
Wrens warbling in stereo.
But these partridge are thwarting my twitching
Re-legged or grey, I don’t care.
Their lives seem covert, ever quick to subvert,
I can’t spot the blighters anywhere.
The closest I came was last Tuesday.
Small and round, golden-brown, could it be?!
I squint and I try, frenzied to identify
My partridge in a pear tree.
My mind whirls but tries to stay focused.
It might be an owl or a gull?
Maybe a fat squirrel named Nigel,
Or a misplaced parcel from Hull.
I suppose by some chance it’s a pheasant,
Next-doors cat with a smug Cheshire grin,
A balloon or a ball, simply too close to call,
Perhaps a decoy partridge manikin?!
So I crept on all fours like a ninja,
Round trees, through grass, under sheep
Then popped up like a meerkat on telly
Or a teen when a mobile goes beep.
And there, perching stately, my quarry.
Mostly round, golden-brown….tangerine?
Not quite the partridge I’d hoped for
But a pumpkin from last Halloween.
“Dash that bird!” I declare. “I’ve been luckless.
Curse it all; tales, talk, mystery!”
Disappointed I blow, somewhere close by I know
Smirks that partridge in his pear tree.
So, this Christmas I relish the knowledge,
That myths, like reindeer can go fly.
Sitting snug at my table, quoting pure fact not fable
“That breast is always better than thigh”.