The Glorious Twelfth: A Bird’s-Eye View

From Mike Temple (upgraded from comment to full post)

I’m a Red Grouse, a High-Class Bird,
Of all Game-Birds the one preferred
By gentry, lords and the top brass,
All members of the ruling class.

I’m courted by the richest in the land
Who make damn sure Grouse-Shooting isn’t banned.
I live amongst the purple moorland heather
Where noble folk and I can come together.

Yes, I’m well-bred, a highly favoured Grouse,
Like Eton Boys and chaps from Charterhouse,
For that is where all those chaps born to rule
Are sent away from home to public school.

It’s there they learn to tell a clever lie,
Their feelings only for the Old School Tie.
I play my part to see the rich have fun,
A leading role, together with the Gun.

The Glorious Twelfth is my great Day.
I’m centre-stage in that display.
I look down on all other Game;
Pheasants and I are not the same.

We meet with low-class Beaters on the heather,
For Grouse-Shoots bring the classes close together
And those who normally get little pay
Can now earn a cool fifty quid a day.
(No matter if their noble “chum”
Should miss and shoot them in the bum.)

They flush me out. I fly up in the sky.
Bang, bang! I’m hit. I topple and I die
And then I’m roasted on an open fire.
What greater Glory could a Grouse desire?

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