Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ethical Dilemma

A mockingbird has taken up residence in the tree directly outside our bedroom window. Normally this would be a good thing, or at least a neutral thing, as I like wildlife as much as the next person. I like watching the occasional squirrel scamper along the fence with a nut in its mouth. I saw a little owl in one of our cedar trees early in the evening a while back, and was totally thrilled. Before the electric fence went up around the tomato plants, we regularly had raccoons visit our yard to partake of said tomatoes, and they are just as cute as the dickens (even if they did drive DC into a sputtering frenzy, but that’s a story for another day). And who doesn't like listening to singing birds? I love chirping birds. Love them. Except for this particular mockingbird.

This bird is clearly obsessive-compulsive. How do I know? Because. He. Never. Stops. Chirping. Ever. EVER. He's chirping when I leave for work. He's chirping when I get home. He's chirping when we come back from dinner. He's chirping when we go to bed. He's chirping when I wake up to pee at 2am. He never stops. When does he eat? Do birds sleep? How can such a tiny body create so much noise for such an extended amount of time? Being a mockingbird, he has an entire repertoire of chirping noises. Sometimes he just emits a single loud chirp every 5 seconds or so, just as you're about to doze off again (after being disturbed by the previous chirp). Sometimes he cycles through a chirping medley, sort of like those car alarms that change their alarm sound every few seconds to attract more attention. In a word, he has become very annoying.

Last week DC offered to dispatch the little guy to the great forest in the sky via some unnamed method that I didn’t want to know about, but one that I’m sure is a violation of the homeowners’ association by-laws. My first reaction was “absolutely not!” Killing the local wildlife because it has become inconvenient just seems wrong. I know killing a mockingbird wouldn't be like, oh, say, killing endangered baby sea turtles. I mean, the things are everywhere. But, we can't just go around killing everything that annoys us, can we? Besides, the bird is bound to wear himself out eventually. Isn’t he??

Many days and many chirps later, it is apparent that the chirping is only gaining strength. His lungs are strong and fit from all that exercise. As DC pointed out, he may drown out the chirping of all the other males and get all the girl birds for himself. He could reproduce and create a whole flock of obsessive-compulsive chirping mockingbirds that would take over the entire neighborhood, the city even. So, last night, DC's earlier offer to remove the chirper turned into "I'm going to do it unless you tell me I can't."

And I totally caved. I told him to do it, but just not to tell me about it. I've become the thing I hate the most. I'm a hypocrite. Just like with lobster. I'm willing to eat lobster, but not willing to scald one to death in a vat of boiling water. This has probably doomed me to one of the circles of hell or something. I think it will be OK though, as long as it's not the circle with the chirping mockingbirds.

2 Comments:

Blogger Vile Blasphemer said...

You may think raccoons are cute, but have you ever been attacked by one? It's not a fun experience.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous slaghammer said...

I have a friend who new a guy (hmmm, sounds suspicious)who kicked a racoon that had been rumaging through his garbage.
Judging by the chain of events that were described to me, racoons are apparently covered in some sort of natural Velcro. The end result, racoon 1, human 0.
I also agree that Mockingbirds are the devil's spawn.

12:36 PM  

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