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March 11th 2010    Tim Candler

    The Close Mockingbird is chortling.   And here, a definition of chortle would include the words mumble and shyness.  I say this because after weeks of silence the Close Mockingbird is recalling his repertoire and he is wondering what he might have forgotten.

    As well he is shy.  Those songs which call out to impress are his creation.  He stands naked in the face of his critics.  The Cardinals are singing,  the House Sparrow is besotted, Carolina Wrens have paired, and beyond, in the woodlands, there is chorus from Woodpeckers and Chickadee.  

    But not much is expected from those who have no repertoire to draw from.

    "How would it sound," the Close Mockingbird asks himself, "If I come off like a Crow, or a telephone, or a tractor part?"   And there is no answer.

    Then when the Close Mockingbird does start to sing these concerns are quickly defrayed.   It is the frustration of silence which is eating away at his heart until that moment comes when he can say, "Who cares what they think!" 

     And while I enjoy the Close Mockingbird chortle, I welcome his moment of recklessness because in his mumbling and shyness I can see him frown in the way that an old and tired man will.

    It's a worry, and should he again choose to spend a week or so this summer singing through the night outside my bedroom window I have promised him I will not shout at him.

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