High among the topmost twigs,
Where pine trees taper frailly,
There grow the youngest, sweetest sprigs
Which feed the capercaillie.
The birds are large, their plumage bright,
They feed by day and roost by night,
Their cry is raucous, loud and clear,
And painful to the human ear.
But never did I wish them harm
Until one roosted by my farm.
Its cries disturbed me as I scanned
The morning paper, daily,
Until I swore, with gun in hand,
To kill that capercaillie.
And so it was I shot and slew it,
Brought it home and tried to stew it,
In casseroles both large and small;
But couldn't eat the beast at all.
For, since they dine on shoots of pine,
The damn things taste of turpentine.
TAC 17 Index