Monday, April 12, 2010
To kill a mocking bird. (It's not as easy as you might think.)
A couple of years ago, we got a visitor that arrived at our house and took up residence in the thick row of bushes beside our pool. We've never seen him and we have no idea what he even looks like. All we know is that he makes this ridiculous laughing sound.....a lot. One day we did a little research on the internet and discovered that he's probably a Mocking Bird. (Thus, the laughing noise.....not exactly the sound you want to hear when you go outside in your bathing suit.) We tolerated him the first summer because we didn't know what else to do.....and truth be told, that was the summer we had our x-change student from Japan and in an effort to appear as normal as possible we tried not to engage in activities that involved weapons or the destruction of wildlife in front of him.
Last year he showed up again and one hot July evening, my husband reached his breaking point when he suspected the bird was laughing at him. Not too many people have ever seen my gentle giant of a husband get really angry. But those of us who live with him know what to look for. We call it the 'eye shift.' You'll know it if you ever see it and if you ever see it I would recommend you just back away. (The Census Bureau lady actually opted to run and that worked too.)
Back to our little laughing friend. My husband went from peacefully sitting outside in his boxers to 'eye shift' mode when he heard that bird start to laugh. (Remember the zero to pissed post? Add this bird to his list.) He bolted from his lounge chair and headed to the barn. The kids and I silently looked at each other and waited to see what was about to happen next. When he emerged from the barn, still dressed only in his boxers, he had a rake in one hand and a high-powered-super-soaker-water-rifle in the other. (Uh oh.) And he headed for the bushes. For the next twenty minutes, we witnessed him beating our bushes with the rake and shooting painful looking columns of pool water into our landscaping. Then he would stop and listen.....and that bird would laugh at him. (In the bird's defense, it was pretty funny.) So, Hubby-zero Mocking Bird-one......begin Round two......this went on and on until the bird finally stopped laughing and my husband, coated in sweat, told himself that he won the battle against the mocking bird and his eyes went back to normal. The following day we realized the bird simply relocated and made his home behind the air conditioner unit and thankfully my hot blooded husband wasn't willing to beat the crap out of that.
This year as we're entering the season of Spring, I'm noticing that my bushes beside the pool are looking like they might be on their last legs. (Go figure.) Hopefully that will deter the mocking bird because I don't think they'll survive another beating and my husband got a couple power tools for Christmas and I'm not sure what measures he's willing to take to avoid being laughed at.
All of this was brought to mind when Z was assigned to read 'To Kill A Mocking Bird.' Last night my husband was flipping through the pages and kept making sounds of disgust. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and I asked him what the problem was. He said, "I can't find anywhere in this book that actually tells you how to do it!"