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Never Argue With a Mockingbird

Story ID:7195
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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Never Argue With a Mockingbird
Chuck Dishno

Roz and I were married on March 2, 1970 and we lived at her house in Fresno, California for about a year and a half but we both had a desire to live in the country where we would have plenty of room to raise dogs, cats and hopefully have room for our avocations.

Although Roz had a degree in pharmacy from Drake University, she went to work as a Med-Tech at Sierra Hospital when her first husband passed away.

One of Roz’s patients at the hospital was a little old man who had a 5-acre horse ranch that he was interested in selling as his health was failing. This sounded interesting to us and after we saw it, we made the deal.

The ranch wasn’t very far out in the country though, being about 10 miles from Fresno and 3 miles from Clovis but it was just fine for us. It had a nice house, barn, tack room and flood lit riding arena. It also came with an old horse named Lady and all the saddle and tack Most of all it gave us a lot of clean air and nice evening breezes.

The master bedroom had a window that faced west and by leaving a door or window open at the other end of the house a nice evening breeze would keep the bedroom cool at night.

Outside the window was a large Modesto Ash tree just across the driveway.

In the spring, that tree was a natural place for a local Mockingbird to roost and call for a mate.
For those of you have been around Mockingbirds, will know what I am talking about. Mockers have a very bad habit of mocking almost every sound they hear and repeat their favorite over and over for hours on end. They seem to be most vocal after sundown and will sometimes keep up their “singing” all night.

Our tree was a great place for a Mockingbird to take up residence and start calling for a mate.

One night after Roz and I had gone to bed, our resident Mockingbird must have been feeling especially lonely. He started in with his incessant calls as soon as we dropped off to sleep.

This Mocker was really desperate for a mate as he had a whole repertoire of songs to go through. He would stop for a few minutes, apparently listening for and answer from a lonely female. If he did not receive one he would start up again with another song from his vast repertory.

After a couple of hours of this I had all I could take and I told Roz I was going to fire my 12 gauge shotgun into that tree and maybe I would hit him.

I got out of our waterbed as quietly as I could and tried not to make waves for Roz, as she was still drowsy.

I went into the den, and loaded a couple of high base shotgun shells into my trusty Winchester. I then snuck around the side of the house and parked myself under the ash tree, standing right next the open bedroom window.

Of course, as soon as I got under that tree, I was greeted with total silence. I wasn’t about to give up though and since it was a warm night I figured I could wait out that lovesick bird.

Since we were out in the country and the nearest house was across my pasture I figured a shotgun blast wouldn’t be too noticeable.

I must have stood there for at least 45 minutes, when much to my delight, my Mockingbird decided to try his luck at wooing a mate. As soon as he let out with a melodious trill, I was ready. I couldn’t see him because of the darkness and the mass of leaves, but I pointed the barrel up and fired off a couple of shots.

That’s when all hell broke loose, not only in the tree but also inside the bedroom.

At the sound of the shotgun blast, Roz, who had fallen back to sleep, “jackknifed” in the waterbed, which was only about 6 feet away. I heard an expletive and the sound of water sloshing coming out of the bedroom as a mass of leaves cascaded down on me from the tree.

Except for Roz, wondering what the heck that noise was, and me laughing there was total and blissful silence coming from the tree. I didn’t see any dead bird and assumed I had missed him but maybe I put a crimp in his love life, at least for that night.

I figured that I had done my job well and went back into the house, put my shotgun away and headed back to bed for a comfortable and hopefully silent sleep.

The sleep lasted only for about a half an hour though when that dratted bird started calling for a mate again. I think he was telling me in no uncertain terms, that he was back and I had not won that round.

Over the years we would have to put up with many Mockingbirds and their nightly love calling and I never again tried to blast one into eternity,

I also don’t think Roz ever didanother “jackknife” on the waterbed in the middle of the night.