News from the Natural World: Robin Red Breasts have issued a collective statement demanding that their ridiculous association with the human festival of Christmas be dropped.
Robin spokesbird Robin was clearly angry before first attempting to make her announcement. She became positively enraged when she overheard the assembled journalists referring to the first part of her speech as being delivered in the form of a charming and enthralling tune.
“First up, most of our singing is about territorial disputes. So that everyone knows which is my patch. Cos I’ve got a sweet thing going on with some good hedgerows and an old couple who chuck out mealworms come rain or shine, and they don’t like cats. Now, as I was singing:
“We robins resent the human practice of associating us with Christmas. We’re busy surviving the winter at that time of year. All your stories about robins with Jesus and associations with postmen’s outfits mean nothing to us. Let’s be honest, you’ve stuck pictures of us on those cards you send because you like a flash of red amongst the white snow. You think it looks colourful and charming in the ‘gloom of winter’. Well, stop; staring at someone’s breast is creepy, and you’ve got lights and televisions to cheer yourselves up with now. Also, you’re not the only ones who’ve noticed how visible we are. Every time it snows the sparrowhawks come straight for us cos we’re lit up like the proverbial. Don’t you dare say it!”
Robin Red Breasts Fed Up With Christmas Association
“All this ‘Joy to the world!’ stuff just isn’t us. Have most of you ever actually watched how we behave? Were right little b******s! No shame in knowing what you are. Dunnocks absolutely hate us, those sparrows know damned well that if food hits the ground we’ve got first dips on it, and even the blackbirds think we’re uppity, and they’re twice our size. What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t lump us in with your ‘season of goodwill’ cos we don’t have any. Our interests are ourselves, food and breeding. In that order. That’s it.
“A thousand-odd years ago my kind was associated with Thor, the God of Thunder, and we put up with that because like we robins Thor was apparently impetuous, gluttonous and up for a fight. We respect that. Not the bit about us heralding storms though, that’s just rubbish. It’s all been downhill since though; saying we appear when your loved ones are near, or that a robin tapping on the window means a death is imminent. How are we meant to know crap like that, and why would we care?
Denounce Christmas Now Say Robins
“Look, the point of this is, the Victorians did a lot of harm in human societies, and we applaud that you’re finally trying to undo some of that, but we’d like it to extend to we passerines as well. Stop associating us with your fantasies.”
After speaking Robin engaged the audience with a clear and intelligent gaze, her head cocked on one side. With no questions forthcoming the spokesbird added a melodious afterthought before swiftly flying off.“At the very least you could bother to throw out seeds and worms on top of the snow to make life a bit easier for us, you know, ‘season of giving’ and all that. Oh, and the Maltese can f*** off!”
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