[Editor: This poem for children, by Eva Oakley, was published in Willie Wagtail, Two Little Romances and Other Verses (1945).]
“Willie Grows Up”
Why! Who is this now flying round,
So gaily in the sun?
It must be Willie Wagtail! Yes!
And he is having fun.
He’s flitting round enjoying life,
This lovely, pleasant day;
His feathers, in the sun, he preens,
And looks so bright and gay.
He often takes a little bath,
In water nice and clear,
And splashes it about the place,
On any bird that’s near.
He looks so trim and dainty now,
And sits upon a peg:
The little boy said, “Just to think,
That he was once an egg!”
Eva Oakley, Willie Wagtail, Two Little Romances and Other Verses, Melbourne: Austral Printing & Publishing Company, , p. 2
gay = happy, joyous, carefree; well-decorated, bright, attractive (in modern times it may especially refer to a homosexual, especially a male homosexual; can also refer to something which is no good, pathetic, useless)