Editificating, and some rather awkward spots of bother in our lives (using the best traditions of British understatement) have kept me fully busy over the past several days. For some light entertainment, I thought I would quickly revise this Really Awful Rhyme of mine, which is intended to form part of an anthology at some time in the future.
A hadeda was hatched one day
High in a ficus tree,
And soon that bird put on display
Stuck-uppedness in every way:
‘There is,’ as he was wont to say,
‘No bird as great as me!’
‘As I!’ his brother pointed out,
‘My, you do put on airs!’
Then uttered ‘Haaaa!’ in raucous shout,
Which was not very wise, no doubt –
As soon as no-one was about,
Got pushed from nest, downstairs!
Survivor showed no sympathy
For brother’s fatal flight;
‘He shouldn’t have said, “Haa!” you see –
”Ahh” says it far more music’lly;
He had no culture, you’ll agree:
It served the blighter right!’
Thenceforward ‘Ahh’ became his name;
The way he sang that word
Gave rise to quite some lasting fame,
Although, from hadeda, sounds tame,
So, everyone, you cannot blame
For thinking it absurd.
From chick-hood, normal food he scorns –
His parents had a time!
No earthworms pecked from urban lawns,
Or slugs slurped down in dewy dawns; *
No, all he’d eat were Parktown prawns,**
And thought they were sublime.
At last he left his treetop nest;
With tuneful ‘Ahh’ he flew
To find the food that he loved best,
But very soon was much distressed:
‘There aren’t too many,’ he confessed,
As well his parents knew.
This he-dada reached adulthood
In quite a hungry state,
And then he thought perhaps he could
Find she-dada who would be good
At finding food, as well she should,
As duty to her mate.
But she-dadas from near and far
Just laughed to hear his cry:
‘Haha, dada, how la-di-da!
If you can’t yell an honest “Haaaa!”
You might as well go back to Ma!’
Was answer to each try.
So if a mournful, ‘Ahh!’ you hear,
Bereft of any joys,
You’ll know that starving Ahh is near,
And it will mean, I greatly fear,
He still insists on steering clear
Of making ‘common’ noise.