Brón ar an mbás… Fox News

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of bird skeleton

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…


Little bird,

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.

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of urban fox cubs

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…

Irish Wildlife Trust


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