The Little Wren

Little Wren | Drawing: Lesley Scoble

The Little Wren

A flick of leaf
A flash of light
On the ground
In out of sight
Under a bush
A shush—
then,
that is
when
I see the 
                Wren!
It darts
stops
starts
And hops
Here and there
Everywhere
Hither, thither
whither
Under the hedge
                            to fledge

Tail standing proud
It stood 
briefly
Along the edge
of the leafy wood
It goes
It knows
It will
        thrill and trill
A song
So LOUD
 
That such a little bird
So small
Can have so big a call
 
Is astonishing 


— Lesley Scoble 1st July 2020
 
 
Wren | Photo: Lesley Scoble

The wren’s garden

Living in the City of London during lockdown has made access to wild open spaces impossible. But, there is a secret wildlife garden where the wren lives (well, it’s not that secret— I know about it—and now you know about it!) . The garden is on my doorstep and during lockdown it is about the only thing that has kept me relatively sane — haha!
Unable to flee imprisoning towering city buildings I have found some gentle escape in this tiny wildlife haven. What used to be a plain and barren mown lawn is now landscaped to attract local wildlife. Plantings of wild flowers and the creation of two small ‘natural’ ponds has attracted an abundance of life that wasn’t there before. Proving just what can be done with a tiny scrap of green space.

No urban housing should be without a home for nature no matter how small.

Pondering by the pond

I like to ponder by the pond…Er.
Beneath the shade of the tree is where I like to be—gazing into the pond and pondering; perchance to focus the mind on nature for a little while. I notice a frog that has barely enough water to submerge himself in. Throughout May the weather had been exceptionally hot and the tiny pond’s water level has sunk to a very low depth. It is barely enough to accommodate the frog that I am watching. I‘m wondering if I should kiss him? But, I think Andrew (him indoors) might have something to say about it, if I returned home with some sort of a prince 👑

The Frog and the Bee | Photo: Lesley Scoble

So, I leave him be and focus on the big bee behind him.

Then the wren turns up!

Wren turns up for a bath | Photo: Lesley Scoble

It is the wren’s bath time. I watch it bathe in the disappearing water. I have never been lucky enough to see a wren so close before! Never close enough to take a photo! I’ve heard them certainly! I have only ever seen the little wren in tantalising glimpses as it darts quickly about beneath hedges and undergrowth.

It came down right in front of me into the pond for a bath!

You can see the wren taking its bath in my short video—

The Wren and the Frog and the trill of the Blackbird

Celtic Myth

I was born in January and according to the Celts the little wren is my spirit animal. I can identify with that! I am little and can often be seen darting about beneath the undergrowth.

Wren Day

While I’m pondering by the pond…I ponder on the fact that once upon a time the beautiful little wren was hunted on a day of ‘wild revelry’ by ‘Wrenboys’ who would skewer them on poles or pitchforks to celebrate St Stephens Day or ‘Wren Day’ on 26th December! And it was considered lucky to be handed a feather from the luckless little songbird. Can you believe it!?
Not wanting to sign off on this gruesome note—I’ll leave you with a quote from one of our greatest poets.

William Blake

Quote from his Auguries of Innocence—

He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be belov’d by men.

William Blake
Wren | Photo: Lesley Scoble

4 comments

  1. Hi Mike,
    Thank you so much for the compliment re my poem 😊 🙏 💓
    I am currently painting a series of individual birds — and a robin is definitely on the cards! (one of my favourite little birds) 🐦
    Thank you so much for your comment —
    I’ll post the robin when he’s done!
    Lesley 🐦

    Like

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