Mired in a melt of tar;
Its silky breast was silver-grey,
Its wings were cinnabar.
So still it lay right in the way
Of every passing car.
Yet as I gently sought to pry
It loose, it glared at me;
You would have thought its foe was I,
It pecked so viciously;
So fiercely fought, as soft I sought
From death to set it free.
Its pinions pitifully frail
I wrested from the muck;
I feared the feathers of its tail
Would never come unstuck.
. . . The jewel-bright it flashed in flight –
Oh how I wished it luck!
With happiness my heart was light,
To see how fair it flew;
To do my good deed I delight,
As grey-haired scouts should do;
Yet oh my bright reward’s to write
This simple rhyme for you!
~ Old Boy Scout – Robert William Service