Recently, there’s been a very belligerent mockingbird hanging out in the tree in our front yard. When I go outside, it will chitter and buzz its angst at my presence. I’ve been concerned that she might dive bomb my family or our guests. Here she is speaking her peace:

Last week, my neighbor made a confession to me. Apparently, the baby mockingbird was playing in the driveway under her car when she pulled out earlier in the week. The young bird was flattened in quick order. Apparently the disgruntled mockingbird is simply enraged at humanity for so casually taking her offspring. Without sounding like a tree-hugging hippy, it’s hard to blame her I guess. I would be similarly outraged if I were in her shoes.

A lot of times in life we see when people are outraged because of wrongs enacted upon them. We live in a twisted fallen world and it’s only natural that there are victims in life. It can be all too easy to misdirect our longing for justice. This misdirection of wanting justice leads some to rabid feminism, riots and looting, gang violence, and even to affirmative action and demands for reparations. One must be careful to make sure that they aren’t targeting the wrong people when they demand justice. An eye for an eye makes the world go blind, and all of that…

On this Independence Day weekend, while rough housing with my niece in the grocery store (which I should be too mature to do), I went crashing into a cashier who responded with, “OW – SON OF A B***H!!!” Needless to say, I was embarrassed beyond words. I apologized profusely to the cashier who did not even acknowledge my words at that point. My niece’s mother started going off on the clerk, telling her that she should apologize for her outburst. At the time, I really wished that she would just let it go so we could make our exit. For the remainder of the weekend, she continued to insist that the cashier was in the wrong. I understand – she has a natural drive to protect her own.

Who in the world won’t default to the side of their family? It’s only natural to prioritize people and let that weight your sense of justice. The fact of the matter is that I should have been the grown-up and not put myself in a position to carelessly collide with the stander-by. I would have felt better if she had accepted my apology and said something about her choice of words, but she was under no obligation to do so. I also appreciate loved ones coming to my defense, even when I don’t feel like it is justified.

Moral of the story? Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger perhaps. Also, I can attempt to act a little more like an adult. *Shame*

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2 thoughts on “Mockingbird

  1. Heh. I know many adults who don’t act “adult” (and have run across quite a few kids, forced to grow up early, who act more “adult” than the adults in their lives). Personally, in my opinion (which, along with $7.50 and your firstborn, will get you a tiny sip of coffee at Starbucks), acting “adult” (or “mature”) is simply knowing the difference between when to cut up and when not to. Sometimes that line is a fuzzy gray, sometimes is so sharply black and white that you can cut yourself just considering it. Just from hearing your side, my opinion would be: you were having fun with a niece, no probs with that. It got a little out of hand, no probs with that, since you immediately apologized. The cashier refused the apology, which is her right, but in this case since no harm was done and no lasting damage was rendered (as far as I know), there was no reason to refuse other than just being petty. Your niece’s mother came to your aid…which is natural. At some point the issue needed to be dropped, though. I’m a firm believer (and, occasionally, a practicioner) in “learn from the past, but don’t live in it”. So, anyway, there’s my two cents (adjusted for inflation).

    As for mockingbirds, those things are just mean. I used to run around the base back in Highschool (Dad was in the Err Farce), and there was a summer where a mockingbird took up residence in a tree beside the road, and would chase me. Not a loud all-out dive-bombing attack (although those did occur)…this thing loved to go ninja, come gliding in from behind, and then go nuts about 6 inches from the back of my head. Or butt. Or ankles, depending on her altitude. Every time, it would freak me out. I saw the bird doing the same thing to another runner once, which made me feel a little bit better, since it wasn’t personal, just business. Still…

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