On the Christmas day, I was somewhat taken aback but not displeased to find a potted fruit tree on my front stoop. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered there was a bird nesting in it. At first I thought the bird had taken up residence without the sender's knowledge, but the next day another fruit tree arrived with another bird. "What is this, I thought? The fruit-tree-of-the-month club?" With the second fruit tree there were also two other birds which the packing slip indicates are turtle doves. I began to see that birds were integral to the gift and maybe the point - if there is any point - to the whole thing. Then, the third day, another fruit tree and more birds! I called your shipping department to see if there were some sort of error, but no, I was definitely to receive a gift delivered in installments of twelve separate shipments. When I heard there were twelve of these on the way, and that I'd only received the first three, I just about "lost it" I can tell you. My requests to know in advance what was in store for me were denied, because the sender - who signed himself "True Love," wished it to be a "surprise." No matter, because I'd already divined the general outlines of his gift-giving scheme and now only had to wait for more gifts to arrive in which, I surmised, the bird motif to heavily predominate.
Nor was I mistaken.
The following day, I received yet more birds in addition to duplicates of all the gifts I had already received. By this point I already had four fruit trees and seventeen birds.
When I received five golden rings the next day, I was somewhat mollified, although I wish my True Love had laid greater stress on the ring department and not so thoroughly exploited the gift-bird theme, but then the next day - you guessed it, more birds! Geese, this time, and not any old geese but geese of a highly fertile and fecund nature. I am not fond of eggs in any case, and goose eggs, in case you are unfamiliar with them, are exceptionally large and have an unpleasantly gamy flavor, picked up, I assume from their passage through a goose's cloaca. On top of this, I received the usual menagerie as well as five more golden rings which did little to reduce my annoyance.
Then, as if geese and all these other fowl weren't enough, swans arrive in their own portable wading pool. Swans, while beautiful, turn out to have very nasty temperaments, and one of them chased a neighbor's child down the street. The child slipped on a recently-laid goose egg and the parents are now suing me for damages. Thanks a lot, True Love.
I am not a religious person, but that night I can tell you I prayed to Sweet Jesus that my True Love would let up with the birds for a little bit, which he did, which goes to show be careful what you ask for because the next day I get eight maids a-milking.
This is how they are described on the packing slip, although no mention is made that since they are in the process of milking, they also arrive each with an individual cow. I think this is something you should provide a warning about on both the package and your site: WARNING: MAY CONTAIN COWS!
What came on the following days made me pine for some nice, relatively quiet birds or even for more cows, which, although they have ruined my carpet, at least stay in one place. Full-grown men and women who seem to be either on crack or else have hyperactive disorder came and began forthwith laying waste to my furniture. The women, at least, seem to be dancing, but the men, I am not making this up, just jump. That's all they do. They jump. And they don't stop jumping morning or night, nor do the drummers and pipers, who arrived on the following days, stop drumming and piping.
It would not be fair to describe my house as bedlam. Bedlam would be heaven itself compared to this hell of birds, livestock, and lunatics.
Please forgive me, I did not mean to go off like that. I have been under considerable stress lately. I have directed the post office to deliver no further "gifts" from your address and filed a restraining order against my True Love. In spite of everything, I wish him only the best and hope he gets help soon, I truly do.
Meanwhile, I wish to return these items:
Twelve pear trees with partridges, twenty-two turtle doves, thirty French hens, thirty-six Colly(?) birds (this is what the packing slip claims, though I have never heard of such a thing), forty-two geese, one gross and two dozen goose eggs, forty-one swans (one of them had to be put down having attacked the neighbor's child), forty maids a-milking (with COWS), thirty-six ladies dancing, thirty lords a leaping, twenty-two pipers piping, and twelve drummers drumming.
The forty golden rings I am keeping.