Whoever said ‘tis better to give than to receive was more spot-on than she suspected. While the sentiment is pleasant enough, it might be time to re-examine gift-giving. Specifically, it might be time to take a good hard look at just what the protagonist, allegedly my true love, of the Twelve Days of Christmas does for us.
We begin, benignly enough, with a partridge in a pear tree. Only Scrooge would complain about a partridge in a pear tree. On the second day, we find ourselves still in the aviary business with two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. We now have three birds hanging around the house. It’s going to get noisy. And messy.
Not leaving well enough alone, on the third day our gift-giver brings us three French hens. I’m not quite sure what a French hen is. A hen from France? It doesn’t matter. Today we receive a grand total of six birds on top of the four already delivered. The house is starting to smell.
Day four, clearly on a roll, our benefactor brings four calling birds. Four plus three plus two plus one…that’s ten birds in four days. Let’s hope the four calling birds know how to call for a decontamination squad.
Things look up on day five. Although another ten birds are dumped on us, we do get five golden rings. If they are real gold, maybe we can pawn them for either bird feed or the services of a good butcher. The fowl are adding up. When it’s time to go for the wish bone, I’m going to wish the gift-return department were closer.
We have a little relapse on day six. We are back to things that waddle and lay eggs. And no, I do not mean Donald Trump. I mean that on top of everything that has come before them, we have six geese a-laying. So now we have to contend with not only the mess and screeching of thirty-six birds but also the prospect of collecting goose eggs. Five more rings, though. That has to help out.
Tell me, what the heck is it with the birds? Seven swans a-swimming.? What else would seven swans be a-doing? Let’s hope they don’t start a-laying, too, or our cholesterol count is going to go through the roof with all these eggs.
The new week brings a nice human touch when we find ourselves presented with eight maids a-milking. At the risk of progressing from two-legged to four-legged trouble, I don’t, I really don’t, mean to look a gift horse (or more probably a gift cow) in the mouth but obviously these eight maids are milking something. My house is not zoned for agriculture and the neighbors are starting to complain about the stench. The swans are hissing at the geese and the geese are calling the calling birds bad names. The French hens want to go home and the turtle doves are re-thinking their position as symbols of peace. There is no peace here, brother. Just a very dirty living room that looks more and more like an ill-tended stable.
With all this livestock, where in the world are the nine ladies supposed to dance? And why would they dance? Certainly not for joy. There is no joy here. Only egg collecting and manure hauling. The pear trees are starting to shed their leaves. What a mess. I am trying to focus on the great compost that is being produced.
And into the fray leap ten lords. Great. Just what this hot mess needs is ten lords leaping around. God only knows what they are going to land in because there is not a clean spot in the entire house. Look before you leap, indeed.
Seriously? Eleven pipers piping? With the smell in here, I don’t know how they are drawing a deep enough breath to produce even the tiniest, tinniest squeak on a pipe. The musicians union is demanding we get them either an outside gig or ventilators.
Well, this is just too much. Twelve drummers drumming. Like six or seven drummers wouldn’t have put me over the edge, I have been given an even dozen drummers. All the birds are squawking, the maids are fooling around with the lords, the ladies are howling in protest, and the neglected cows are clamoring to be milked. Twelve drummers are not, I repeat not, helping my headache.
I hope my true love kept the receipts.
Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for the Sidney, Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call.