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Short story - Requiem

This is a story I wrote and illustrated during a rather creative period circa 1999/2000 or thereabouts.

I'm not a Jackdaw, Raven or Rook
So have a quick check in your bird-spotting book
And if you're lucky it will show
I'm non of these - in fact I'm a crow

You'll often see me strutting around,
Happily pecking away at the ground.
In most every way I'm a regular Joe -
Apart from one thing I'd like you to know.

I've got a fear that's quite unfounded
I loathe the sky; I want to stay grounded
I know it's strange, it's even absurd
To be scared of heights, when you're a bird

when I was young and first started school
(back in the days when flared trousers were cool)
I'd pretend to be sick, (I used hundreds of lies)
And I'd sit on the ground while others took to the skies

I spent my time reading all sorts of books
About aeronautics and fly fishing hooks.
I passed my exams; did remarkably well
But the thought of heights made me feel unwell

When I turned 17, I decided to try
To forget my fear and learn how to fly.
Laid my cards on the table; said "Now is the time"
Found a tree and started to climb

I got to the top and looked over the edge
(I was maybe 6 foot above an old hedge)
My legs felt like jelly and my head felt weak
I opened my mouth, but couldn't speak

Stuck on the spot, I couldn't move;
But what the hey! I could only improve.
A moment or so later I felt my foot slip
And I fell off the side as I lost my grip

I finally managed to utter a sound
A gutteral "Uuurg" as I hit the ground.
I took account of myself as I lay on my back;
What went wrong? Ah yes; I forgot to flap.

Now every so often, when I have the time
I climb up a rock (if the weather is fine)
And try to conquere my fear, (I've not done it yet)
By jumping up and down till I break into a sweat.

And as I write this, I'm at the top of an oak
But I can't get down - sadly this isn't a joke
I know what you're thinking, I know, I know
I'm stuck in a tree and the wind's starting to blow

I can't help but notice storm clouds in the sky.
It's a times like these I wish I could fly.
One day, I'll be just like a normal crow
But not for a while, thanks to this damned vertigo



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