The flying lesson


What are you doing here

Up in the sky ?

Said a beautiful bird

Sailing by

I'm learning to fly

Said I with a sigh

They said it was fun

So I gave it a try.

Beware said the bird

For up here in the air

Is no place for featherless

Persons with hair

That superior bird

Said your ambition's absurd

You've ideas above your station

Bearing in mind the elation of the flying sensation

Are you aware of the extent of your elevation ?

If you were to look down

That down there, is the ground

And you don't seem aware

Up here in the air

Of the gravity of your situation

For I think that you'll find

If you look up behind

That you're not the only mad fool up here

There's three little red planes

Might want to play games

That involve shooting you up the rear

So might I suggest, if you want to survive

That you enter forthwith, a fairly steep dive

And if you're a wise boy, and don't need telling twice

You'll surely thank me for my expert advice

And when you land with a thud

In the soft Belgian mud

You'll forgive my intrusion

And reach the conclusion

That it's better if birds

Do the flying.

© nigel hallworth 2014

Aerial reconnaissance was by far the most valuable function of the primitive aviation of WW1.

For most of the war casualties at training units were greater than losses in action.