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Little trotty wagtail, he went in the rain
And, tittering tottering sideways, he ne’er got straight again.
He stooped to get a worm and look’d up to catch a fly
And then he flew away ere his feathers they were dry.

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Little trotty wagtail, he waddled in the mud
And left his little foot marks, trample where he would.
He waddled in the water pudge and waggle went his tail
And chirrupt up his wings to dry upon the garden rail.

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Little trotty wagtail, you nimble all about
And in the dimpling water pudge you waddle in and out.
Your home is nigh at hand and in the warm pigsty,
So little Master Wagtail I’ll bid you a ‘Good bye’.

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~ John Clare (1793 – 1864), the ‘Northamptonshire Peasant Poet’ who is often regarded as one of the most important poets of the natural world.

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