Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The First Cuckoo of 2009

Tomorrow will be the first of April. Today, I stopped to listen again as I thought I had heard a familiar tune and sure enough,  a bird is singing 'Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo'. However, I couldn't see this grey beauty flying on the wing in the countryside surrounding our garden.  The warmth of the sun can be felt as I hang the washing on the line. The wind has abated and the bees are humming loudly in the heavily-laden blossoming cherry tree which desperately needs attention. We have noticed that the trunk is leaning somewhat at too much of an angle as a result of the prevailing wind that likes to blow towards our house.  The branches need pruning. A few hours later the wind is back to full speed again! March winds are fickle.  I do not like the wind.

Here are two songs from Sussex and Norfolk.

The cuckoo is a merry bird, she sings as she flies,
She brings us good tidings and tells us no lies;
She sucks the sweet flowers to make her sing clear,
And she never sings "cuckoo" till summer is near.
O meeting is a pleasure, but parting a grief,
An inconstant lover is worse than a thief;
For a thief will but rob you and swear to be true,
And the very next moment they'll bring you to the grave.

The grave it wil rot you and bring you to dust,
There is not one in twenty young men girls can trust;
They will kiss you, and court you and swear to be true,
And the very next moment they'll bid you adieu.

Come all you young women wherever you be,
Build never your nest in the top of a tree;
For the leaves they will wither, the branches decay,
And the beauty of fair maids will soon fade away.

CREDIT TO .... http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/pardon2.htm

Is there a moral in this tale?
What does this say about the male cuckoo? Nothing. And the female? Not a lot .. yet we know they are both lazy.
We know that the cuckoo lays her eggs in another bird's nest and throws out all other eggs and fledglings so that her young cuckoo has the greatest opportunity for survival and will grow to be larger than it's adopted parents. I never realised that the first verse of this poem/ song had such following verses. Researching information using the world wide web creates a far better learning environment than encyclopaedic books, although of course one cannot believe everything one reads anywhere

And here is a poem sung by Walter Pardon of Knapton, Norfolk

The cuckoo is a pretty bird, she singeth as she flies
She telleth us good tidings, she telleth us no lies
She sucketh all sweet flowers to keep her throttle clear
And every time she singeth "Cuckoo, cuckoo"
The Summer draweth near.

The cuckoo is a pretty bird, no other is as she
That flits across the meadow, that sings on every tree
A nest she never buildeth, a vagrant she doth roam
Like her, I would be singing "Cuckoo, cuckoo"
I nowhere have a home.

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