18 AUGUST 1990, Page 26

Celestial canary

Sir: Maxi, our canary was found this morning clawed to death on the floor of his cage. He was born in Cieux about 14 km from here. We bought him for 50 francs last October. His owners called him Maxi because he sang so loudly. The night of his death I had forgotten to cover him up. So: God Be with Ye Maxi

You were small enough, Maxi, and now you are nil.

You were loud enough, Maxi, but never too shrill.

You hailed from Cieux, Maxi, that's French for 'the skies'. You have flown away, Maxi, with our guilty good-byes.

Buried 19.30 hours on the same day. The Revd Mark Savage of Newcastle-on-Tyne blessed the grave (which my wife dug).

Anthony Blond

9 Rue Thiers, 87300 Bellac, France