Thank you very much for your lovely present of a partridge in a pear-tree.
We’re getting the hang of feeding the partridge now, although it was
difficult at first to win its confidence. It bit the mother rather badly
on the hand but they’re good friends now and we’re keeping the pear-tree
indoors in a bucket. Thank you again.
I cannot tell you how surprised we were to hear from you so soon again and
to receive your lovely present of two turtle doves. You really are too
kind. At first the partridge was very jealous and suspicious of the doves
and they had a terrible row the night the doves arrived. We had to send
for the vet but the birds are okay again and the stitches are due to some
out in a week or two. The vet’s bill was £8 but the mother is over her
annoyance now and the doves and the partridge are watching the telly from
the pear-tree as I write.
We must be foremost in your thoughts. I had only posted my letter when the
three French hens arrived. There was another sort-out between the hens and
the doves, who sided with the partridge, and the
vet had to be sent for
again. The mother was raging because the bill was £16 this time but she
has almost cooled down. However, the fact that the birds’ droppings keep
falling down on her hair whilen she’s watching the telly, doesn’t help
matters. Thanking you for your kindness.
You mustn’t have received my last letter when you were sending us the four
calling birds. There was pandemonium in the pear-tree again last night and
the vet’s bill was £32. The mother is on sedation as I write. I know you
meant no harm and remain your close friend.
Your generosity knows no bounds. Five gold rings ! When the parcel arrived
I was scared stiff that it might be more birds, because the smell in the
living-room is atrocious. However, I don’t want to seem ungrateful for the
Your affectionate friend,
What are you trying to do to us ? It isn’t that we don’t appreciate your
generosity but the six geese have not alone nearly murdered the calling
birds but they laid their eggs on top of the vet’s head from the pear-tree
and his bill was £68 in cash ! My mother is munching 60 grains of Valium a
day and talking to herself in a most alarming way. You must keep your
feelings for me in check.
We are not amused by your little joke. Seven swans-a-swimming is a most
romantic idea but not in the bath of a private house. We cannot use the
bathroom now because they’ve gone completely savage and rush the door
every time we try to enter. If things go on this way, the mother and I
will smell as bad as the living-room carpet. Please lay off. It is not
Who the hell do you think gave you the right to send eight, hefty
maids-a-milking here, to eat us out of house and home ? Their cattle are
all over the front lawn and have trampled the hell out of the mother’s
rose-beds. The swans invaded the living-room in a sneak attack and the
ensuing battle between them and the calling birds, turtle doves, French
hens and partridge make the Battle of the Somme seem like Wanderly Wagon.
The mother is on a bottle of whiskey a day, as well as the sixty grains of
Valium. I’m very annoyed with you.
Listen you louser !
There’s enough pandemonium in this place night and day without nine
drummers drumming, while the eight flaming maids-a-milking are beating my
poor, old alcoholic mother out of her own kitchen and gobbling everything
in sight. I’m warning you, you’re making an enemy of me.
I hope you’ll be haunted by the strains of ten pipers piping which you
sent to torment us last night. They were aided in their evil work by those
maniac drummers and it wasn’t a pleasant sight to look out the window and
see eight hefty maids-a-milking pogo-ing around with the ensuing punk-rock
uproar. My mother has just finished her third bottle of whiskey, on top of
a hundred and twenty four grains of Valium. You’ll get yours !
You have scandalised
my mother, you dirty Jezebel,
It was bad enough to have eight maids-a-milking dancing to punk music on
the front lawn but they’ve now been joined by your friends ~ the eleven
Lords-a-leaping and the antics of the whole lot of them would leave the
most decadent days of the Roman Empire looking like “Outlook”. I’ll get
you yet, you ould bag !
Listen slurry head,
You have ruined our lives. The twelve maidens dancing turned up last night
and beat the living daylights out of the eight maids-a-milking, ‘cos they
found them carrying on with the eleven Lords-a-leaping. Meanwhile, the
swans got out of the living-room, where they’d been hiding since the big
battle, and savaged hell out of the Lords and all the Maids. There were
eight ambulances here last night, and the local Civil Defence as well. The
mother is in a home for the bewildered and I’m sitting here, up
to my neck
in birds’ droppings, empty whiskey and Valium bottles, birds’ blood and
feathers, while the flaming cows eat the leaves off the pear-tree. I’m a
with pear leaves falling for
the flaming cows