“The Cocky (A Poe Parody)” by Tania Ingram




Once upon a morning dreary, I awoke all weak and weary,

Ate hot buttered toast and drank a cup of tea, then poured some more.

Then I sat down, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping on my back screen door.

`’Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, `tapping on my back screen door –

Only this and nothing more.’


Let me think now, I remember, it was in the hot December,

And the sunrise, morning splendour cast a glow upon the door.

Eagerly my dog sat restless; – hoping I had left some breakfast,

Mouth a pile of dripping wetness – drooling on my kitchen floor.

Waiting for the cold leftovers, was the dog whose name was Thor –

Waiting here for evermore.


Presently my soul grew stronger; ‘Thor,’ said I ‘Let’s wait no longer.’

‘Let’s find out whose tapping on the screen of our back door.’

With my dressing gown a flapping, I got up to check the rapping,

Then I faintly heard a tapping, tapping at my back screen door,

Twas so faint I hardly heard it – here I opened wide the door; –

Sunlight there and nothing more.


Deep into that sunlight staring, long I stood there wondering, glaring,

Was I dreaming when I heard the tapping at the door?

But the silence was unbroken, and the sunrise gave no token,

And the only noise there spoken was from Thor upon the floor.

‘Strange?’ I whispered, and the drooling dog let out a muffled snore.

Merely this and nothing more.


Back into the kitchen turning, with my puzzled mind now burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping that was louder than before.

`Thor,’ said I, `surely that is – someone at the window lattice;

Let us check then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore –

Let my brave dog now awaken and this mystery explore; –

‘Tis the wind and nothing more!’


As I opened up the shutter, through the window came a flutter,

In there flew a cockatoo, with a crest as gold as straw.

With no fear of my mad flapping nor of Thor’s annoying yapping,

Or the sound of slippers slapping, as I jumped around the floor,

In he flew and perched upon a shelf above my kitchen door; –

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.


As I inspected this bird fellow, dressed in feathers white and yellow,

A smile did pass across my lips, where there had been no smile before.

‘Though you sit there proud and blocky, you,’ I said ‘must be that stocky,

Greedy sulphur crested cocky who has pinched my seed before.

Tell me what it is you want, what it is you came here for?

Screeched the cocky, ‘Gimme more!’


Much I marvelled at this shrewd, talking bird to ask for food,

Though its answer was quite rude and something I’d not heard before.

Nothing further then he uttered – nor a feather then he fluttered,

As I scratched my head and muttered ‘Have I seed? I’m not quite sure.’

Though I knew I had a brand new bag of seed beside the door.

Screeched the cocky, ‘Gimme more!’


Startled at the stillness broken by reply so clearly spoken,

‘Someone.’ said I, ‘must have taught this bird to speak before.’

Picturing some careless preacher taking time to train this creature,

‘Tell me bird, where is your teacher, he or she who taught this lore?

Who would take the time to teach a cheeky cocky such a chore?’

Screeched the cocky, ‘Gimme more!’


‘Bird!’ said I, ‘you are crazy!- perching here like some wild daisy

Expecting me to dish out seed as though you have some rule of law.

Leave now and let me be – let me finish off my tea,

Take yourself away from me – quit thy shelf above my door!

Take thy self from out my home, and take thy form from off my door.’

Screeched the cocky, ‘Gimme more!’


‘More!’ I shouted ‘Why, what cheek!’ – as I watched the cocky’s beak,

Wondering how hard a tweak the bird could give if provoked more.

Then the cocky started thrashing; from the shelf my things came crashing,

Tumbling, falling; finally smashing as they hit the cold tile floor,

And the cocky screeched with joy as he knocked things to the floor.

Screeched the cocky ‘Gimme more!’


I jumped forth and grabbed the broom and swiftly ran across the room,

To send the cocky to his doom, or chase him out the back screen door.

But the cocky, cheeky fellow, raised his crest of golden yellow,

And let out a screeching bellow, as down from the shelf he tore.

Opened up his snowy wings and in a downwards swoop did soar; –

As he called out ‘Gimme more!’


Finally I did concede, broken by the cocky’s greed,

And I went and grabbed the seed that I kept beside the door.

And the door I then flung wide, swallowing my crippled pride,

With the seed I raced outside and I then began to pour –

Poured the seed into the feeder that was just outside my door.

Screeched the cocky, ‘Yippee! More!’


And the cocky, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting,

On the wooden feeder, that is just outside my door.

And his eyes have all the seeming of a bird that’s deep in dreaming

And the sun-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

As I watch him eating seed now from the feeder by my door; –

And I tell him – nevermore!

10 thoughts on ““The Cocky (A Poe Parody)” by Tania Ingram

  1. Splendid, Tania – wonderfully entertaining and well worth reading more than once. There’s more than a bit of raven in every cocky. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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