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The Mocking Mockiingbird

Updated on October 06, 2014
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird | Source

The Demons

Those demons must be monsters. They have survived days of taunting and physical assault and yet they remain unscathed. No amount of intimidation or aggression seems to have any effect on them. They are fierce, determined, and persistent. One cannot help but wonder what it will take to drive them away - for even a moment.

He’s been here for days now, attacking, chastising, and hammering away at them. He is obsessed. He leaves, only to return moments later to repeat the battery. He seems haunted by these demons. The neighbors are beginning to notice and are intrigued by his behavior. Some have intervened but it has had little effect. Day after day, he returns to battle the demons and day after day, they win. He is - a bird. The demons - are imaginary.

Observation

It is fascinating, this battle between a Northern Mockingbird and the side mirror of my Jeep. I watched him for hours today, his majestic self all puffed up looking bold and brave. At times he worked himself into such a frenzy that he emptied himself right there on the surface where he is standing to fight. With wings flapping, he screamed at his own image, too crazy to notice it was himself screaming back. Would I become a witness to the living color version of “To Kill A Mockingbird”?

I began thinking about the similarities in the behavior of this bird and that of humans. Maybe the creatures of the natural world are not so different from humans after all. We rarely study them long enough to become familiar with their individual patterns of behavior. We may notice a migratory pattern in birds when the weather changes and wildlife biologists have taught us that bears hibernate, salmon spawn, wolves roam huge territories in search of food, and that beavers are destructive architects. But it is impossible to really get inside the head of these wild creatures of nature.

The "Mocking" Bird
The "Mocking" Bird | Source

Reflections

What could possibly drive a bird to fight with itself in a mirror, day in and day out? What could cause a bird to feel so threatened by its own image? Does a bird not have the ability to determine what is real and what is its own reflection? Could it be that even in nature there are imaginary demons that dwell within the mind of the four-legged or winged ones?

My thoughts turned to humans. No matter how strong we appear, we all have our insecurities and fears. Are they real or imagined demons? Can we tell the difference or are we like the bird who sees itself in the mirror and becomes obsessed with destroying the enemy? Are our fears so real that we will destroy ourselves in our attempt to destroy the reflection in the mirror?

We are not a reflection though. We are blood and bones, tissue and senses; we are thinking, feeling beings. We have the ability to turn grief into joy and failure into success, We have been blessed with the ability to express ourselves through music, art, dance, writing, and so much more. We are blessed with the gifts of love and friendship and we have the capacity to be charitable and playful and, to laugh. We do not have to stay stuck in indecision or fear or to allow others to discredit us or diminish our purpose for being here. We do not have to allow others to abuse us or to make us feel unworthy. We do not have to be obsessed with destroying the enemy. The enemy is only as powerful as the power we give it. The enemy is us.

Source

Rising Up

That foolish mockingbird doesn’t have enough sense to know it is fighting its own image in the mirror but we do.


We can change what we see by changing our attitude, surrounding ourselves with positive people, giving the best of ourselves to others or to a worthy cause. We can change what we see in the mirror – if we want to.


Update: October 2014

It's been over a year since I wrote this piece and he's back. This crazy mockingbird has returned to the complex and is once again arguing with himself in the car mirrors. I've watched him for the past two days as he flits from one car to the next and I wonder why his little body isn't worn out. He must be exhausted but he is so determined to win the fight with his own reflection.


  • I find myself wondering:
  • Where was he all summer?
  • Did he dream of that enemy bird and count the days until the sun was just right for hijm to reveal himself?
  • Did he return here just for the sake of the fight?
  • Will he return again?

This silly bird has captivated me and I will allow him to fight for another day or so but then, I'll have to save him from himself and collapse the mirrors on my Jeep before he hurts himself.

Comments

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  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I like you more with each passing day!

    Wonderful work. I really like the way your mind works; you see a bird fighting a mirror and find a correlation with humans fighting themselves. That, my friend, is a great leap, one that oozes insight and reflection.

    Love it; keep them coming and I'll keep following you!

    bill..........ooh, tomorrow is your day. :)

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    Are our demons real or imaginary? Is that reflection real to the poor Mocking Bird...after all he may never have seen a reflection before...maybe he's related to Narcissus and is in love with his reflection! Either way he's taken with your mirror.

    And you are so right, WE do not have to stay stuck in any situation!

    Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill Holland, you make me feel like a writer even when I know I have not arrived yet. You are far too kind but I'll take it. You make me want to do better and better and better. As for the correlation, I have always seen things this way. Long before I ever decided to write publicly, I wwrote things about the lessons I had learned from nature. Nature is a good teacher.

    As for tomorrow, I'm as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. :-)

    Thanks for all the encouragement. It means the world to me.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi tillsontitan! Thanks fordropping by. I need some human company today after spending it watching this crazy bird. If this bird doesn't get it soon, he's going to beat his brains out. He's been at it for at least four days, non stop. I turned my mirror inward tonight hoping if he can't find it in the morning, he'll find another obsession that isn't so violent.

    Thanks so much for the wonderful compliments. What a joy it is when someone tells you that your work is worthy of such accolades. Have a great evening!

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

    LOL, I did not know where you were going with this one and the demons, but the bird driving itself nuts with its own reflection is hilarious, but maddening for you I am sure!!!

    I do love your very wise words here, as well, as relates to us being blessed with love, friendship, capable of being charitable and able to laugh at ourselves. LOL It is so great to laugh at oneself and not take ourselves too seriously. I am constantly laughing at myself.

    The more I read of your superb work, the more I anticipate reading your next one, as it is always refreshing, unexpected and unique, just as you are dear one. Love all your photos and music ---really great stuff here.

    Voted Way Up acrosss the board on this one. In His Love, Faith Reaper

  • viveresperando profile image

    viveresperando 4 years ago from A Place Where Nothing Is Real

    Wow, love the way you compared humans with this bird. Love the pictures too. Makes me also feel sorry for the bird, just the way I also do for some of us "humans" at times when we can be our own worst enemies. voted beautiful and up.

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    I have a mocking bird in my yard. He thinks he owns the bird bath. He has the confidence to chase away the crows. True... and another angle to that mirror.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Faith! You are so precious. You always make me feel good at the end of my day. This bird is really nuts. Half the neighborhood has been out here today watching him and trying to run him off. He flies off into the trees and as soon as you turn your back, he's right there again sqawking and flapping those wings at himself. I have laughed until I cried and yet I am worried that he really is going to hurt himself.

    Thanks so much Faith, for being "faithful" and so supportive.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi viveresperando! Thanks for the visit. I'm glad you enjoyed my hub today and really appreciate the vote too!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hey MH! Hope you had a good day. So, you have one too. These birds are fierce. And this one of mine is nuts! Thanks for visiting and letting me know I'm not the only one with a crazy mocking bird.

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    Linda - This was such a creative and original subject. The pictures of the little mockingbird sitting on the autos mirror are stupendous. As you so eloquently stated, we can derive important lessons watching this little guy with the big attitude. My worst enemy is me! I fight with my image all the time yet I know its me in the mirror. Maybe this little guy feels the same way.

    Great lesson while including snippets of your wonderful humor and I am voting this up.

  • Angela Blair profile image

    Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

    Delightful Hub and analogy -- perhaps we're all our own worst enemies! Best/Sis

  • aviannovice profile image

    Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

    The bird has an excuse, Linda. It is purely hormonal. Reflections to males denote other birds, and they must protect their territory. Cardinals do the same thing at car mirrors in the spring. It seems to me that some people have an innate predisposition to violence.

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Up all the way across on this one. It manages to be funny and psychologial as well. I really like the metaphor of the bird in combat with himself, the way you turned it to a reflection of many of us who do the same sort of behavior in many ways.

    I miss mockingbirds, there are none in Oregon, but California and Texas were alive with them.

    Great work

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi shiningirisheyes! I love your comment. Many of us fight ourselves for many different reasons. This little bird was so funny and his attitude is HUGE. He was back out there today but I had errands to run so my car was missing. When I came home, he was sitting in the top of a dogwood tree just fussin'. I think he really was mad that I took his mirror away. I didn't even have the heart to turn the mirror inward like I finally did yesterday to keep him from beating his brains out. lol Thanks for the visit!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks for the visit Angela. I tend to agree with you.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello aviannovice! Thanks for reading and providing an explanation. This little guy must have a serious hormone issue. lol When I came home today he was waiting in the top of a dogwood tree and gave me a real piece of his mine for taking the mirror away for a few hours. :-)

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hey xstatic! Thanks for reading about my crazy bird and for the great comments. Nature has a lot to teach us, doesn't it?

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    Great hub and really enjoyed reading this. Love the photos. Great thoughts here. Voted UP.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks carol7777! Glad you enjoyed this one. Crazy bird!

  • TToombs08 profile image

    Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

    Very interesting stuff to think aobut, Irc. Nicely done. Voted up and more.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks TToomsbso8! I really appreciate your visit and comment. And, the votes. :-)

  • frogyfish profile image

    frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America

    Your thoughts on similarities was great, and I came out on top in favor of the bird! I used to have a Mockingbird that returned to my back yard for several years, but he is no more. Used to sing back at him and he was tolerant enough to answer my 'accent'. Loved your singing mockingbird video. Am still jumpin' at the Mockingbird music video, wow!

    By the way, I came here to congratulate you on your Red Lollipop award!! Yea!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks frogyfish! Nice to meet you. lol I loved the video too. Took me back to those good old days. Haven't seen James Taylor move like that since. Mockingbirds are funny. I've had them terrorize my cats to the point where they wouldn't even venture into the yard anymore. Thank for the visit and congrats!

  • grandmapearl profile image

    Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

    I loved the angle you took on this hub. I had a tufted titmouse that did the same thing this spring. However, he chose all of my house windows. As soon as I covered one, he attacked another! The demons are very real to the birds in their territorial defense. It's a male thing with all the fierceness and bravery that they tend to display. Voted Up and Awesome; a very enjoyable article.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi grandmapearl! Thanks so much. I love your comment. These little guys are persistent, aren't they? My Mockingbird was back at it again this morning. Thanks so much for the visit and comment. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, I am sooooo far behind in reading my HubMail! This is a wonderful piece. Yes, we continuously fight ourselves. We fight our image, trying to fool others into thinking we are someone other than who we see in the mirror.

    If you don't like who you see in the mirror, change it until you do. Otherwise, quit fighting with us. We probably like who you are just the way you are!

    Thumbs up, kiddo!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Great words Shauna. I agree, as usual. I always appreciate your visits and never know what you're going to leave behind. lol

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    At least this time you didn't have to delete me, huh? :-)

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    lol - Shauna, you did good this time.

  • rasta1 profile image

    Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

    Amazing, simply amazing. Just amazing.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello rasta1. It was all that, wasn't it? lol Birds are much like humans. Sometime our behavior is rather foolish but fun to watch from a distance. Thanks for the visit! Respect!

  • Glenn Stok profile image

    Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

    Linda, you have a way of being very insightful. Your comparison really give one something to think about. So many thoughts come to my mind, such as why would anyone (mockingbird or human) want to fight his own kind. But we know it happens every day, sad to say.

    We can learn a lot by observing birds and other animals, or by reading your hubs. Voted up, useful, and awesome.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Glenn, I am somewhat stunned by your compliment. Nature has been my most powerful teacher in life. I have often felt that it was a gift to be able to see the examples of human behavior through the eyes of nature; a gift that I have sometimes felt unworthy of but am so grateful for. Nature has a somewhat more gentle way of teaching than humans. Perhaps that is what draws me to the teacher.

    Thank you for taking time to read my story and for the wonderful compliment. It inspires me.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Seems I missed this and it is very good. The message, the mocking bird (which I love) and the song is great! ^

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you Jackie. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

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