I am not a violent kind of guy (well, except if you drive too slow on the highway, hold up the line at the grocery store, wear clothes that are obviously NOT YOUR SIZE…well you know what I mean) I am just not the violent type.
I love nature and all that comes with it (for the most part.) The line, for me, is usually drawn at bugs that ATTACK me…and by attack, I mean fly near my face or land on me. I take that as an act of aggression. Anyway… Living with ManicMariah, who loves all living things, I have learned to extend nature’s creatures an added luxury, the luxury of living if she can scoop them up and remove them from my “personal space.”
Now, on to the main topic. I am a guy who will actually admit that he enjoys hearing animals in nature, coyotes in the distance, ocean waves crashing, crickets chirping, birds singing, etc. …until recently, that is. Being here in Southern California, we usually leave our windows open, day and night, letting the cool ocean breeze flow through the house.
A while back, Manic Mariah and I would sit out in our front yard watching mom and dad Mockingbird, fighting off a gnarly band of crows in an attempt to protect their new family nesting in a tree in the yard. We’d sit there and cheer for the Mockingbirds. (we hate the crows.) That went on for a few weeks and the Mockingbirds did quite well in fending off the evil crows. We were then very happy to have this family of rough and tumble creatures taking up residence on our property.
These days…there is only one Mockingbird around…don’t know what happened to the others…but …well….let me explain. At 11PM EVERY night, this bird proceeds to (I will not call it sing) DESTROY the night with a barrage of about 8 different bird calls (chirping, tweeting and whistling) at the top of it’s lungs. Normally I would not mind, but this banter goes on from 11PM until sunrise…and never during the day. This intrusive noise is so bad that even from its roost in the front yard, I can hear it over the volume of the TV at the back of the house.
I and our teen have been driven completely mad with this F’ing irritating creature. I comment to Manic Mariah on a regular basis about it and she responds with, “Let the poor thing be. He is probably lost or something.” I’ve been holding off on any military action and did so as long as I could. The other night it just got under my skin to a point where I just could not take it any longer. I ran into Cody’s room, found his sling shot and proceeded to the front door. As I set foot on the front walk, the bird went silent. This stupid, shit-ass bird was some sort of mind reader and knew that there was only one reason for me to be in the front yard at midnight, dressed in fatigues and holding a slingshot and a handful of rocks.
I actually sat my old, tired ass in a bush (one with a clear view of the tree that was hosting the little F’er.) Sitting in a bush at midnight after having a few beers was not the ideal situation for me. I sat there for about 15 minutes. It was like I was a sniper in a war and I would lie in wait longer than my target….”do or die little birdie!!!!”
Finally, it started up again. At first I could not tell the exact location of the pesky thing and did not want to spray rocks all other the neighbor’s house – might be hard to explain to the police…alcohol, fatigues, sling shot, middle of night…you get the picture. Then I saw…branches slightly move. I honed my eyes on that very spot and continued to wait. (legs cramping, I had to burp, hard to focus eyes, etc) then there was movement again. Stealthily slipping a rock into the leather of my weapon and slowly extending the projectile…I gave one last check of my aim and let the rock fly. Listening intently, I heard the rock whiz through the tree hitting a few branches…and then the roof of the neighbor’s house. Shit, I hope I don’t have to wait another 15 minutes for this thing to move again. I didn’t…a second later it moved again….and started singing. I think it was singing…”you suck…you have no aim…you old fat fart!”
I reloaded and with every bit of precision that I could muster, sent another rock into the tree, this time hitting something that did not sound like tree…it was a bit more hollow. I remained in my sniper position to see if there would be any further enemy movement. I waited about 2 or three minutes…there was nothing. My eyes widened, huge grin on my face….I stood up. In my head telling myself, “I knew I should have been a sniper.” It was too dark for me to search the area for splattered bird at that point so I jumped out of the bush and ran inside, dropping my weapon and ammo on the ground as I entered. I raced upstairs and banged on teen’s door (I knew she was up by the reflection of the TV under her door.) As she turned her head to me, I blurted out, “I killed that freaking Mockingbird." She smiled and gave me a high five. I then went into my room, slipped out of my fatigues and curled up with Manic Mariah with a sense of complete accomplishment…and slept very well that night.
The next morning I rushed outside to marvel at my fallen enemy…but could not find any trace of him. Maybe the crows and a raccoon made off with him… there was nothing but I still did not hear any sign of that bastard. I was satisfied.
The Boy and the Pine Forest - One day, his parents drove him several hours outside of the city and the place that he knew as home. They passed by meadows, farms and forests on the way t...