I was doing odd jobs for m’lady,
Like dusting the furniture and such,
Saw laying all over her dressing table
an array of fine jewelry to touch;
Off to one side there were brooches,
silver and gold which I’d never seen before,
‘Tis no doubt, she’d never miss one tiny brooch,
I never suffered such temptations before!
There was a tiny gold and redbird pin–
“It is elegant” I said to myself,
And would she miss this one tiny brooch
if it disappeared from this place?
I sorted m’lady’s necklaces and bracelets,
And lined up her brooches, from large to small,
The little redbird was the tiniest
would she miss that one at all?
I never suffered such temptations before,
I could feel the devil whispering in my ear,
Whilst everything my mama ever taught me,
Was making me quake with fear;
In the end, I left m’lady’s boudoir
dust free and everything in place,
Including that one little redbird brooch
That m’lady would never trace –
Later that day, m’lady called to me
and asked me to come to her room,
and so I did, but I shook with fear,
would she know what was on my mind?
She pointed out the jewelry tidied up,
And thanked me for sorting it all,
Said she couldn’t find her favorite before,
the tiny redbird brooch, her papa gave her!
“You found it!” m’lady cried with joy–
and I curtsied with relief
to think that losing such a wee small thing
could ever cause my lady grief.
I spent my seven years a servant,
until I turned twenty-one
Then my lady turned me loose
Handing me a little purse filled with coins;
“You’ve been a faithful servant” she said to me
“And I wish I had more to pay you,
But I hope you will remember me by–“
and gave me a wee box tied with a ribbon blue.
I unwrapped the box and found inside
wrapped in tissue–the little red bird–
“I always remember how you found this trinket
when I thought it lost forever,” she said,
And she added with a smile,
“I always thought you liked it!”
Sandra Lee Smith
composed 2015; updated July 15, 2018