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2 + 2 = Eek!

March 11, 2012

Birds have two wings.
That much, we know.
But have the birds
Been always so?

From strata deep
In ancient rock
Come fossils that
Engender shock.

The birds that spread
Two wings in air
Did once possess
Another pair.

The Microraptor
Flew with four:
Two wings behind,
And two before.

Might radiation
from the rain
Make quadro-wingers
Come again,

If fallout dropped
On crow and quail
Puts four-wings on
The comeback trail?

Now, just in case
You haven’t heard
(The media won’t
Spread the word),

Hot particles
From 3-11
Are zapping all
Beneath the sun.

Alpha, beta,
Gamma too,
Waft from Japan
To Waterloo.

What if avian
Just happens to
Get in the way?

Will chromosomes
That thus mutate
Make feathered limbs

Two-wingers (at
Some future date)
Might jump to four,
Or six, or eight,

And if they grow
Enough in size,
Beaked C-5As
Might fill the skies.

On seizing horses,
Cows, and sheep
(While cheering in
A basso “CHEEP!”),

They’ll haul their prey
To lofty nest,
There to … need I
Describe the rest?

Don’t yet say no.
Mutation makes
A monster grow.

And when we see
That dreadful sight,
We’ll all agree
Hitchcock was right.

(c) 2012 David Ritchie

(David Ritchie posts from Seoul, Korea. Contact:


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  1. Wow! Im sure Darwin would’ve loved this! The title is great!

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  1. When light verse meets a fossil « The Galloping Ghostwriter

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