Here’s little ‘trotty’ wagtail who went in the rain, according to the poem by John Clare, the 19th Century poet known for his celebration of the English countryside.
The Pied Wagtail is a highly distinctive black and white bird with a strutting walk and a tail constantly moving up and down. It’s ‘tittering, tottering’ motion is easy to identify and it is common in towns as well as the countryside. I doubt it actively enjoys the rain but as an insect eater, it does prefer the damp environments where insects gather, and can be seen dashing across lawns, posing by carpark puddles, picking through seaweed on the high water mark and indeed by the ‘warm pig stye’.
Our version is for sale as part of the #artistsupportpledge for £100 [since many artists have lost opportunities to sell their work during lockdown, we pledge to spend £200 on another artist’s work for every £1000 of eligible pictures of ours sold]
Little trotty wagtail he went in the rain,
And tittering, tottering sideways he ne’er got straight again,
He stooped to get a worm, and looked up to get a fly,
And then he flew away ere his feathers they were dry.
Little trotty wagtail, he waddled in the mud,
And left his little footmarks, trample where he would.
He waddled in the water-pudge, and waggle went his tail,
And chirrupt up his wings to dry upon the garden rail.
Little trotty wagtail, you nimble all about,
And in the dimpling water-pudge you waddle in and out;
Your home is nigh at hand, and in the warm pig-stye,
So, little Master Wagtail, I’ll bid you a good-bye.
John Clare 1793 – 1864 see Wikipedia page