Dr KARL SHUKER

Zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker is also one of the best known cryptozoologists in the world. Author of such seminal works as Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; greatly expanded in 2012 as The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), and more recently Extraordinary Animals Revisited (2007), Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (2010), Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery (2012), and Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History (2013), his many fans have been badgering him to join the blogosphere for years. The CFZ Blog Network is proud to have finally persuaded him to do so.

Dr Karl Shuker's Official Website - http://www.karlshuker.com

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Monday, 25 April 2011

THE ROBIN AND THE CROSSBILL - TWO EASTER-THEMED BIRD LEGENDS IN VERSE



There are many traditional, quite often poignant religious folktales featuring animals, some of which are well known, others less so. In the following poem, which appears in my published poetry collection Star Steeds and Other Dreams (CFZ Press, 2009), I have combined two of these age-old stories, both of which are Easter-themed - the famous legend of how the robin gained its red breast, and the less familiar legend of how the crossbill acquired its twisted beak.

THE ROBIN AND THE CROSSBILL

A tall wooden Cross cast its pitiless shadow
Across a green hill ‘neath the grey, leaden sky.
For mankind had crucified Jesus, its Saviour,
And left Him there helpless to suffer and die.

But two tiny birds came to visit Lord Jesus,
Two small humble creatures with hearts full of love.
The little brown robin and bright crimson crossbill,
Each blessed by the Light of their Father Above.

When Jesus looked down and beheld the small robin,
He smiled at him softly, and down from His breast
His blood trickled slowly like deep scarlet teardrops,
And falling below stained the robin’s white chest.

The crossbill in vain used his bill to remove the
Cruel nails that impaled Jesus’ hands and His feet,
But prised with such force that his bill crossed and twisted
‘Ere, strength being spent, he conceded defeat.

And e’er since that day when they visited Jesus,
The bill of each crossbill is twisted and curled,
While Jesus’ red blood on each robin’s chest lingers,
Reminding us just how much God loves our world.

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