A bonus of a tame starling is the poems people bring to your attention. Here’s one by Pam Ayres, called ‘I’m a Starling … me Darling’ courtesy of John Ransom.
We’re starlings, the missis, meself and the boys.
We don’t go round hopping’, we walks,
We don’t go in for this singing all day
And twittering about, we just squawks.
We don’t go in for these fashionable clothes
Like old Missel Thrush, and his spots,
Me breast isn’t red, there’s no crest on me head,
We’ve got sort of, hardwearing … dots.
We starlings, the missis, meself and the boys,
We’ll eat anything that’s about,
Well, anything but that old half coconut,
I can’t hold it still. I falls out.
What we’d rather do is wait here for you
To put out some bread for the tits,
And then when we’re certain you’re there by the curtain,
We flocks down and tears it to bits.
But we starlings, the missis, meself and the boys,
We reckon that we’re being got at.
You think for two minutes, them finches and linnets,
You never see them being shot at.
So the next time you comes out to sprinkle the crumbs out,
And there’s starlings there, making a noise,
Don’t you be so quick to heave half a brick,
It’s the missis, meself and the boys!
Chatter – starlings and brambles – oil – 25 X 36 ins
The painting ‘Chatter – starlings and brambles’ is included in Jonathan’s exhibition at the Strathearn Gallery, Crieff from 23rd April 2016