Julian Tuwim
Avian Radio

Hallo! Hallo!
This is the avian radio up in the birch tree,
Broadcast in the bird country, from forests to the sea.
Please, adjust your dials and tune to our station
For the avian nation
Meets for consultation:
Firstly – to find out who knows
Which way the morning wind blows?
Secondly – where really might
The echo hide at night?
Thirdly – to stop the ado
with morning baths in dew.
Fourthly – what way is preferred
To tell a bird
From no bird?
And fifthly (plus maybe two thirds),
There’ll be warbles, whistles, twitters,
Peetpillitings and Peempeetters,
By the following birds:

Nightingale, tern, pecker, stork,
Blackbird, swallow, sparrow, hawk,
Bunting, raven, crested tit,
Cuckoo, thrush, hoopoe, pipit,
Yellowhammer, goose, titmouse
Owl, oriole, starling, grouse
Bullfinch, duck, lark, swan and coot,
And all other birds astute.

Nightingale went first
Like this:
“Hallo! O, hallo lo lo lo lo!
This is is is is is is
Radio, rad-eee-o, eeo, eo eo
Teeeo, trio, trilli milli,
Eeo, peeo, peeyo, lo lo lo
Plo plo plo plo hlo hallo!”

Sparrow hopped with chirped unease:
“What’s with that melodic tease?
I am not a music hater
But that bird needs a translator.
Chirp chirp twitter!
Chirp birp chwatter!
It’s no circus
No theatre!
Ruffled up! Give me a break!
Chicken’s screech, for goodness sake!
Enough arias, enough lyric!
Chirp chirp cheeric,
Cheerp cheerp chiric!

And he went off with such chirping,
Chwarping, chwirking, chirpchirirking,
That the rooster raised his noodle
With an angry “Cuckoo-doodle!”

 That made cuckoo yell and hiss
“What sort of a deal is this?
Cuckoo-doodle? That’s your hook?
Absolutely not, you crook!
I’m not cheap and I can share,
But my cuckoo – don’t you dare!
Doodle- you can crow till spring!
Drop the cuckoo – that’s my thing!
Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Hear me talk!”
Pecker joined: knockidy! knock!
Pewit called out: Whose that? Whose?
Where from? Drank some? Use it, use!
Little quail: come on! come near!
Got some? give! throw here! throw here!

That stirred birds both high and low
Twitter, warble, chirp – like so:
“Give here! Throw here! What’s that thing?
Feather? Grain? A cork? Some string?
Come here, throw here! Fit it, fit it!
My nest, fix it, stick it, lick it!
Not yours! Leave it! I’m not leaving!
That’s mine! Your nest! Weaving, weaving!
Won’t give? Won’t share? Shame! Oh shame!”
Soon a tussle was aflame.

Bird police did not delay
Stopped the broadcast right away. 


(Translated by: Witold Wojtaszko)