… a partridge in a pear tree.
A Grey partridge or a Red-legged partridge?
The Grey partridge used to be the only partridge here in Britain. And so was simply called the Partridge. But then came along the glamorous Red-legged partridge, introduced to Britain from France in the late 1700s, so we had to add the grey bit on to the front of partridge to not get confused. Its not all grey though. It has a pretty orange face, and some fancy stripy markings on its back and wings.
But back to the pear tree… One may presume that, as the Red-legged partridge is a fairly new inhabitant to England, perhaps it was a Grey partridge being sung about. But I’ve been doing some investigating, and guess what? The ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ song, seems to have first appeared in England in … guess when? Yep, the late 1700s.
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