The Song of the Blackbird
by Lord Dunsany
AS THE POET passed the thorn-tree the blackbird sang.
“How ever do you do it?” the poet said, for he knew bird language.
“It was like this,” said the blackbird. “It really was the most extraordinary thing. I made that song last Spring, it came to me all of a sudden. There was the most beautiful she-blackbird that the world has ever seen. Her eyes were blacker than lakes are at night, her feathers were blacker than the night itself, and nothing was as yellow as her beak; she could fly much faster than the lightning. She was not an ordinary she-blackbird, there has never been any other like her at all. I did not dare go near her because she was so wonderful. One day last Spring when it got warm again — it had been cold, we ate berries, things were quite different then, but Spring came and it got warm — one day I was thinking how wonderful she was and it seemed so extraordinary to think that I should ever have seen her, the only really wonderful she-blackbird in the world, that I opened my beak to give a shout, and then this song came, and there had never been anything like it before, and luckily I remembered it, the very song that I sang just now. But what is so extraordinary, the most amazing occurrence of that marvellous day, was that no sooner had I sung the song than that very bird, the most wonderful she-blackbird in the world, flew right up to me and sat quite close to me on the same tree. I never remember such wonderful times as those.
“Yes, the song came in a moment, and as I was saying….”
And an old wanderer walking with a stick came by and the blackbird flew away, and the poet told the old man the blackbird’s wonderful story.
“That song new?” said the wanderer. “Not a bit of it. God made it years ago. All the blackbirds used to sing it when I was young. It was new then.”
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Source: Fifty-One Tales