Monday, May 16, 2011
To Kill a Mockingbird
I have never read the book or seen the movie To Kill a Mockingbird, but I now know where the sentiment behind it must have come from. There is a mockingbird that lives in the environs of where we are staying here at beautiful Emerald Isle, and it would not surprise me in the least if someone desired for it to meet its demise. We don't have mockingbirds in my native Fairfield, Ohio. And for that, I am now eternally grateful.
From what I can tell, mockingbirds have three salient characteristics. First, they are loud. Obnoxiously loud. There can be a chorus of dozens of birds here on the island, and the mockingbird will stand out among them all like a bad soprano in a church choir. (My apologies if you are a soprano. However, I grew up in the Catholic Church and every parish choir I ever heard had one soprano who knew only one musical dynamic: fortissimo. And they inevitably held the final note of a phrase a beat too long to produce their version of a solo). Second, mockingbirds are persistent. They go on and on and on and on from one ripped-off bird song to the next with barely a breath in between. Their third, and perhaps most disconcerting trait, is they are early risers. This particular one seems determined to wake every other bird (and me) at the ridiculous hour of 5:30am. I am not amused.
Now that I've written this, I should probably add this caveat: I have no intentions of harming said bird. So if it perhaps comes to the end of its earthly journey during the coming week, I promise I had nothing to do with it. Pure coincidence.