The Bull And The Magpie

Up and down the back
of a big, black
bull that looked appalling,
one magpie was slowly strolling.
A wee doggie passing by
stopped to marvel at the sight.
“He’s an idiot alright!
Carrying everybody on his hide…
Hey, maybe I can hitch a ride!”

Thus considering, the dog prepares his “attack”.
He crouches to the ground and
Lo! – he leaps right onto the big bull’s back.

What happened next is quite easy to surmise.
The bull winced, taken rather by surprise,
But, in flash and with a mighty jog,
He tumbled down the “hound”
And pitching him into his horns, he threw
The unexpected nuisance flat onto the ground.

“What is wrong with you, mutt?
Did you fancy I was dead?
Well, the bird I gladly suffer
to stroll up onto my head,
for it fends off mosquitoes and gadflies,
and other bugs that get into my eyes.
As for you, what are you good at, mutt?
Now, wouldn’t I, a big, strong bull,
a gentleman from horn to toe, be the butt
of all manner of a joke, if I carried
on my back such a silly, useless fool?”
Translated by Alina Popescu

by George Topîrceanu (1886-1937)