In that familiar, if somewhat annoying, song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, the singer’s true love gave on the fourth day “four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.” (I apologize to anyone who now has this song stuck in their head, it was necessary to tell my story).
Well on my fourth day of Christmas, I woke up with the migraine from hell on day eleven of it’s never-ending torture. I barely had the energy to get dressed so I skipped breakfast (bad choice). The fluorescent lights in our classroom seemed louder and brighter than usual, and it made me crabby. One of my students got upset with my insistence on saying “No” when she did something she shouldn’t have been doing, and hit and scratched my face several times on the way to the time out room.
So I decided to give myself a gift (since I haven’t met my true love yet), and I took the afternoon off. It was more of a “mental health” than sick day, although my head was threatening to explode, so I found something relaxing to do – create. I allowed myself a few hours to work on my newest mini album projects after the Excedrin Migraine kicked in (and my migraine was tamed to a mere headache). I also made a very delicious dinner for myself, watched a few episodes of Alias on Netflix, and went to bed early. Although I didn’t deviate far from my typical routine, it was just enough to help me step back from the pain and chaos for a few hours.
Getting back to the song, have you ever wondered about the gifts that were given? What exactly is a “calling bird” and why would someone want four of them? And do French hens lay special eggs that make “French toast” even yummier?? If so, I’ll take three myself!
Well as it turns out, the word “calling” is an American change to the English word “colly,” meaning “black.” So her true love gave her four blackbirds on the fourth day. The third day is referring to Faverolles hens, also known as French hens, obviously originating in France. A very multi-cultural song!
Now for the two turtle doves, I’ll pass, doves kind of freak me out a little. My friend Sonya had a pet dove, and I spent a few nights at her house back in the day (early high school if memory serves). In the middle of the night it would laugh (it was out in the living room but I could still hear it), and it was more of a disturbing cackle.
Finally, a partridge in a pear tree. I love pears, so I wouldn’t mind the tree, although I have no yard in which to plant one. I’d probably ask Jeff and Denise to take care of it for me; after all, they live in the Lewiston Orchards! The partridge is a member of the pheasant family, so I could cook it up with a nice pear sauce perhaps.
Stay tuned for my own version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” coming soon to a blog near you. (Ok, to this blog)