U A Fanthorpe addresses the “True Love” who sent the extraordinary range of birds to his lover in the popular carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas. She is less than impressed by his choices. The  poem can be found in the lively compilation, Poetry for Every Day of the Year, edited by Allie Esiri (Macmillan Children’s Books £16.99).


Leaping and dancing

Means to-ing and fro-ing;

Drummers and pipers -

Loud banging and blowing;

Even a pear tree

Needs room to grow in.


Goose eggs and gold top

When I’m trying to slim?

And seven swans swimming?

Just where could they swim?


Mine is a small house,

Your gifts are grand;

One ring at a time

Is enough for this hand.


Hens, colly birds, doves,

A gastronome’s treat.

But love, I did tell you,

I’ve given up meat.


Your fairytale presents

Are wasted on me.

Just send me your love

And set all the birds free.