The Twelfth Day of Christmas

Yesterday was the traditional day (for me at any rate) of packing Christmas away. Many folks tire of Christmas very quickly and they probably disposed of the remnants days ago but in my household we stick to the old traditions.

Before Christmas I was at a party which had a quiz. One of the questions concerned how many gifts in total were given in the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Being of the age where we were taught how to do sums, I quickly had an answer – it comes to 364. Had I been given these gifts I’d have had most geese and swans – 42 of each. As far as I know I am not supposed to have swans, but geese I have kept and loved. Back in 2003 I had just three of them. They were gorgeous, beautiful birds but sadly, old Reynard changed habits and came in the day and thought they were gorgeous tasty birds.


I still miss them, waddling round the field, stamping their feet when annoyed and having long and oh so meaningful conversations with me.

Of the other gifts in the song, I see partridges occasionally here, but not as often as pheasants. Turtle doves I do not see, but collared doves we have a plenty.

I don’t know about French hens, but I used to keep mixed hens – they, sadly, went the way of the geese.

I may not have geese, but my part of the world is alive with calling birds. How about this one – a goldfinch on my doorstep.


It’s pleased I let dandelions go to seed!

There’s one gold ring in the garden somewhere. It’s my wife’s lost wedding ring.

After the swans we move on to the people. I don’t suppose I would ever have been called a maid but I have done milking. I have done drumming as well. I could say I have done piping too, either in the form of plumbing or as part of a recorder group. Dancing and leaping certainly aren’t my thing these days, but I have done them.

But now I can put all thoughts of that song out of my head until next Christmas.

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