"Chrrrp! chrrp ! Tuurrweep! Tuurrweep!"
It was louder than normal and I had never heard one like it before. I looked out the deck windows, hoping I would see it. I didn't know what kind of bird it was.
I fed wild birds. I got Cardinals, Blue Jays, a variety of Sparrows and Wrens. I also got several types of black birds. They appreciated the seed I put out for them.
Finally I spotted it. It was different shades of gray, yet its markings were distinct. I didn't know what type of bird I studied.
"Tweetuurrp! "Tweetuurp!" It had changed its call again. Loud and clear it sounded, but it was not normal for one bird to make multiple noises. So loudly and cheerfully it chanted. I got my bird guide and looked at gray birds to see if I could find a match. It excited me whenever I got a new species and this offered to be the best songbird yet.
"Ah! So that's what you are," I said aloud. "A Mockingbird." 'A Mockingbird copies the calls of other birds,' I read. I quickly prayed silently that it would hang around. I was in love with it already!
For about an hour, the bird would chirp periodically and I'd smile. After that, apparently it had other business to attend to. I didn't hear it anymore.
The next day I watched for a return of my new friend. It didn't disappoint me, but showed up about ten in the morning. There had been frost from overnight on the mostly yellowed grass, but the sun had burned it off. It would be mild by afternoon. Again he sang for about an hour and then went on about his business somewhere else.
This became a daily routine for us. He'd come in the morning and sing to me. If I stepped outside, he'd stay around, out of reach, of course. I looked forward to our private conversations.
One day there was a small hawk on the top of my chain link fence. It was rare for hawks to come to the city, but when they did; they were a threat to the patrons at my feeders. I went out and shooed him off. I didn't want him eating one of my friends. Don't get me wrong. I liked hawks and understood that they had to eat, but I didn't want it to eat one of my guests.
My Mockingbird kept returning daily. One day, however, Mr. Mockingbird didn't show. I looked around outside and saw scattered feathers where a hawk or a cat had caught a bird. I just knew it was Mr. Mockingbird and I was heartbroken. I would never hear my friend again.
Mr. Mockingbird didn't show, so I realized my conclusion must be correct. Either that hawk or the neighbor's cat had swallowed my morning friend. I almost wanted to cry. I know it might seem silly to you, it's just nature after all; but I loved my singing winged companion.
A month passed without Mr. Mockingbird. I was sitting at the computer at the deck window when suddenly I heard, "Cheeerupp! Cheeerupp!" It was Mr. Mockingbird! But...but...there was another Mockingbird. It seemed that Mr. had found himself a Mrs. I was thrilled. It was so good to have my old friend back.
Our routine began again, but now they both sang to me. Sometimes they'd play chase with each other. As Spring came around, I noticed that Mrs. Mockingbird was getting fat. She was going to have little ones.
Later that Spring, she lost her bulge. I hoped her children would be safe. Cats liked to raid nests when they had baby birds.
Summer came and to my joy, three young Mockingbirds appeared with Mommy and Daddy. Mr. Mockingbird had given me a family of Mockingbirds. They played in the trees in my backyard.
Rating - 85/200 Points
Unusual Friendship by Jorge Noriega & Ren Taylor
Judge - Mr. Mayank Sharma