Berty and Mable


 In Mable’s garden, there’s a holly tree,
Where Berty Blackbird loves to hide.
It’s the best place in the garden you see,
As the bird table, is right by its side.

And every day the birds are fed,
In abundance, by kind old Mable.
Cake crumbs, biscuits and stale bread,
She over loads the feeding table.
Anticipation spreads far and wide.
Her arrival stirs the birds to sing.
They can’t wait for Mable to go inside,
As they’re eager to take to their wing.
Hopping from branch, to fence, to post,
Dancing, dipping and weaving.
And to the table, they all draw close,
Excited by Mable’s leaving.
But the robin, starlings, sparrows and finches,
Suddenly freeze on catching sight, 
Of the biggest bird, both in weight and inches.
Guarding the grub with might.
With just one look, they all fly away,
Leaving Berty to the fat filled meal.
But this ritual takes place every day.
A free ‘all he can eat’ meal deal!
After Berty’s filling feed,
He retreats to spy from his tree.
No need to search for worms or seed,
He just sits, until Mable brings tea!
Mable loved watching her feathered friend,
But she noticed him growing in scale.
“He won’t be able to fly in the end
For a Blackbird, it’s just not natural.”
And with that, an almighty sound,
Giving Berty a frightening start.
The table cracked, and hurled to the ground,
Causing a gasp and a shock to his heart.

All of the other birds saw his fright.
Should they mock, cry or fuss?
“It’s taken its toll, your greedy plight,
Eat better, be active. Be like us!”
Berty wept, where no-one could see
Each tear welled regret and shame.
“Was it Mable’s fault for feeding me?”
But he knew deep down who to blame.
“I shouldn’t eat just because it’s there,
I should earn my food each day.
By foraging and flying amidst the air,
I was born to live that way.”
Mable too, thought about herself,
“Over the years I’ve been such a fool.
It’s not a good way to have good health,
Even my kindness to the birds has been cruel.”
Mable knew her expanding waist,
Was her diet and lack of exercise.
Her leftovers, even gave Berty a taste,
And so, he too grew bigger in size.
Within days, a determination was seeded.
“I want to rid my bad habits and mistakes.
Healthy eating and more movement is needed,
And I’ll give Berty bird food, not cakes!”
Slowly but surely, an amazing change took place,
Mable’s tired aching joints were no more.
She had a spring in her step and a glow in her face,
And Berty could now swoop and soar.
Today the new Berty visits once in a while,
He’s too busy, doing what all birds do.
He really loves his new found lifestyle,
And Mable’s big smile, shows she does too!
"Wow Berty, well done. You look great!"
© Lisa Shephard 2010





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