Poor ol’ Cock Robin

A Robin Redbreast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.

William Blake


The yard is suddenly plentiful with robins—
Are they the ominous harbingers of things to come or the triumphant heralders of the anthems of Spring?
With the forecast boding a Winter Storm’s bothersome approach it is perhaps a frantic search for food which these birds seek all in order to wait out the impending weather.
Either way, robins have been the subject of prose and poem down through the ages as there is just something most endearing about these rusty breasted members of the thrush family.


The tale of Who Murdered Cock Robin is a British Nursery Rhyme which, in 1993, was adapted by Kevin O’Malley as a delightfully illustrated children’s book– complete with mystery and intrigue. The original British Nursery Rhyme is thought to be an allegorical reference to fabled Robin Hood.



“Who killed Cock Robin?” “I,” said the Sparrow,
“With my bow and arrow, I killed Cock Robin.”
“Who saw him die?” “I,” said the Fly,
“With my little eye, I saw him die.”
“Who caught his blood?” “I,” said the Fish,
“With my little dish, I caught his blood.”
“Who’ll make the shroud?” “I,” said the Beetle,
“With my thread and needle, I’ll make the shroud.”
“Who’ll dig his grave?” “I,” said the Owl,
“With my pick and shovel, I’ll dig his grave.”
“Who’ll be the parson?” “I,” said the Rook,
“With my little book, I’ll be the parson.”
“Who’ll be the clerk?” “I,” said the Lark,
“If it’s not in the dark, I’ll be the clerk.”
“Who’ll carry the link?” “I,” said the Linnet,
“I’ll fetch it in a minute, I’ll carry the link.”
“Who’ll be chief mourner?” “I,” said the Dove,
“I mourn for my love, I’ll be chief mourner.”
“Who’ll carry the coffin?” “I,” said the Kite,
“If it’s not through the night, I’ll carry the coffin.”
“Who’ll bear the pall? “We,” said the Wren,
“Both the cock and the hen, we’ll bear the pall.”
“Who’ll sing a psalm?” “I,” said the Thrush,
“As she sat on a bush, I’ll sing a psalm.”
“Who’ll toll the bell?” “I,” said the bull,
“Because I can pull, I’ll toll the bell.”
All the birds of the air fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
When they heard the bell toll for poor Cock Robin


(one of the many robins in the yard / Julie Cook / 2014)