Once Upon a Time
Inspired by an Italian fable. (A repost).
There is a story supposed to be secret
and that to reveal it, it wouldn’t be right.
But, being honest, I am going to tell you:
many years ago blackbirds were white.
A family of five birds – father, mother
and three chicks – shivered and shook
in the snow and in arctic conditions
as they searched for a suitable nook.
One particular winter it was so sub-zero
that being in the open one could freeze.
The poor birds flew flapping their wings
all the time hoping the cold would cease.
Then saw smoke wisping from chimneys
and that gave them a glimmer of hope.
They knew that if they could find shelter
with the icy weather they’d surely cope.
But taking refuge in a chimney stack
meant that they’d be covered in soot
and it so happened that a black patina
covered their feathers and took root.
You may think that they’d be displeased
and that forever they would rue the day
they stayed in that coal-black recess,
but accepted it was a small price to pay.
© Luigi Pagano 2016