I was doing a bit of DIY the other day, removing an old fireplace from a room upstairs, when I discovered a skeleton in the grate.
It was a little bird from long ago that must’ve fallen down the chimney and I was reminded of a poem by Patrick Pearse entitled: “A Éin Bhig”, written on discovering a dead sparrow on his doorstep. Here it is…
A Éin Bhig
(Gealbhan do fuaras ar lic mo dhorais lá geimhridh agus é marbh)
A éin bhig,
Fuar liom do luí
ar an lig!
A éinín nár smaoin riamh olc,
Cad chuige a dtáinig an bás ort?
and my translation…
I shudder to see you lie
there on the stone.
Little bird that ne’er imagined wrong,
Why did you die?
So forlorn… this is how I felt when I discovered a dead fox cub recently, behind the studio. Only days ago, I had watched it in seeming endless tussle with its twin.
I don’t know what happened. The experts say that a high percentage of foxes won’t survive past their second birthday, and half the cubs won’t even reach their first. These little ones seemed so lively…