High in the branches of the hawthorn tree
Sat a flock of proud birds who seemed to agree,
That their bodies were fickle, flawed, ugly to see,
So a plan thus was hatched between these three.
Their appearance had caused them years of pain,
And now they were twisted, tired and vain.
So these three birds who knew nothing but sorrow,
Decided that each others parts they would borrow.
The Heron desperate to escape from her lake
Agreed with the Robin his legs she would take,
“Of course” said the Robin “You can have my legs,
If you will give me your child instead”
The Heron thought once but then not again
Handed over her child, in the egg she had lain,
The legs were then given by the Robin with ease,
Which the Heron accepted bursting with greed.
So up to the tree the Heron she flew,
No trace of remorse for the lake she once knew.
The Robin then removed his fiery red breast,
And now in it’s place the egg it does rest.
“This egg it shall give me the appearance of youth”
The Robin announced sounding rather uncouth,
The Herons old legs lay untouched on the ground,
And the Robin slipped them on not making a sound.
A Sparrow had been watching the exchange with desire,
Wishing for his legs to stretch higher and higher,
So he could tower over enemies, who called him cruel names,
Beat him and pushed him and put him to shame.
He pulled of the twigs of the Hawthorn tree
And put them in the sockets where his legs should be,
And to the bottom of these he attached his feet,
No longer would he be considered petit.
He immediately sought out his once feared foes,
Who cowered beneath him just next to his toes.
He smushed and he smited and gave them a wack
And each one he conquered he stuck to his back.
However there was a bird with which he did seek,
That caused all the others to hide and go shriek,
He created a cage that would confine him forever,
Nothing could escape not even a feather.
He caught him with speed, locked him up in the cage,
Sparrow thought it was done, didn’t count on his rage.
Inside his prison the little bird he did thrash,
The Sparrow legs lost balance and fell with a crash.
The Sparrows legs lay splintered beyond repair,
The thud shook the Robin, his egg fell through the air,
The egg hit the Heron square in the eyes,
Releasing a bird who flew through the skies.
The Robin now empty, the Sparrow was broken,
The Heron distraught, wish she’d never had spoken.
For the Heron was blinded by the shards of the egg
From the child she had traded for her miserable legs.
She begged and she pleaded and looked up to the skies,
And asked a trade of her life in exchange for her eyes
Asking the sky for only one thing in return
To have a glimpse of the child for which she did yearn.
The Robin who once was prized for his fiery red breast,
Now was empty, a shell, there was nothing left,
He asked the sky for one last request,
“Please make me whole again, just like the rest”
The Sparrow was disgusted by his past behaviour
Asked the sky for forgiveness, his only saviour,
“Please give me legs again so I can walk,
I don’t care about their height… as long as they’re short!”
The sky did not answer, but instead turned its back
The sun hid its face and the clouds did turn black.
And the half birds sat silent, overcome with their shame,
They could not speak, for they knew they were to blame.
I then created a set of illustrations from this.