Period: Early/Mid Twentieth Century
Height: 23.5 inches
Base: 11.25 X 7.25 inches
The large Grey Heron or Ardea cinerea, preserved and mounted on a French grey painted rectangular softwood base survives from the middle of the twentieth century.
The heron is in fair and importantly original order, the legs have been under strain standing on the base so they have a slight looseness to them with later repairs to make him more stable and the feathers and overall appearance are in tact but slightly tired.
The Heron Who Was Hard To Please
Jean de La Fontaine
A long-legged Heron, with long neck and beak,
Set out for a stroll by the bank of a creek.
So clear was the water that if you looked sharp
You could see the pike caper around with the carp.
The Heron might quickly have speared enough fish
To make for his dinner a capital dish.
But he was a very particular bird:
His food fixed "just so," at the hours he preferred.
And hence he decided 'twas better to wait,
Since his appetite grew when he supped rather late.
Pretty soon he was hungry, and stalked to the bank.
Where some pondfish were leaping--a fish of low rank.
"Bah, Bah!" said the Bird. "Sup on these? No--not I.
I'm known as a Heron: as such I live high."
Then some gudgeon swam past that were tempting to see,
But the Heron said hautily: "No--not for me.
For those I'd not bother to open my beak,
If I had to hang 'round come next Friday a week."
Thus bragged the big Bird. But he's bound to confess
That he opened his elegant beak for much less.
Not another fish came. When he found all else fail,
He was happy to happen upon a fat snail.