He now knows I’m hunting him, no doubt. I’ve shot twice and missed. I’ve never been a good shot. Now, he knows that. He strategically positions himself like a bull’s eye in the small window of wires just above the transformer. His predecessor did that too. What are the odds?
His predecessor hit the grass thanks to Handy Hubby, a far better shot than I. It’s not like we make a sport out of shooting birds. We love the birds! But please, don’t let their small stature, or innocent and cute demeanor cloud the fact that they are really loud, opportunistic, clever and occasionally infuriating.
Did you know mockingbirds will go on all night long? So, when they’re right above the bedroom window, I’m sure you can imagine how exceptionally annoying it is. That is, if you’ve ever heard the mockingbirds go on and on all night long. They must be the most annoying-sounding birds ever, right after guinea hens. It would take a real saint to suffer through it incessantly, I’m sure.
The mockingbirds are, as James True has made me deeply consider, gifts of Ba’al. They force me to get up from my cushions, to feel the shame in my lack of skill, to suffer their shrill monotony, to become a better shot.
They make me understand that irritation is a very powerful motivator for me. And my own limited threshold for verbal abuse, and my own cunning, and sensitivity, and impatience, and so on. For better, but moreover, worse.
I got lucky this time, don’t know why, seem to be riding that wave lately, at last. I heard him out, while weeding in the garden. He went on and on, right over my head. I was so tempted to get the gun. But I thought, let me try my patience today. A little self-test. I didn’t notice he’d gone until a day or two afterward, remarking on the silence suddenly, while weeding once again in the garden.
How calm and quiet, what’s changed?
Low and behold, the mockingbird was gone, and no replacement has yet appeared. But, the same morning I realized this, which was yesterday, I had to rush our old dog Papi to the vet, half his tongue is paralyzed, well into his throat and he can’t eat, is drooling badly, has a fever, and they’re keeping him for the weekend under sedation.
He’s old and sometimes as annoying as the mockingbirds. He’s always been our ‘problem child’. It’s been fairly constant for his now 12 years—in and out of the vet for snake bites and ear issues and inexplicable poisonings. He’s fond of disappearing for days, one time he came home clearly overdosed on mushrooms. He drives me into a regular frenzy by, in general, being a real hooligan. I miss him already, a lot.
Not that these random instances might be related or anything, just noting the timing, just in case.
Get well quick old buddy, your annoying antics are missed already.