Night Crooner

Around midnight there’s a bird in the tree by my bedroom window that starts singing. His timing is intriguing. I thought birds went to bed with sundown and stayed quiet until sunrise. Not this one. He has a repertoire that is impressive. He must be an opera singer preparing for his role. He keeps me awake. I listen to his notes, and not one is the same as the other. He varies his tone and his melody. You’d think others were answering him, but it’s all coming from him.

I did an Internet search for night crooners and found him. He’s the Northern Mockingbird. He can mimic other birds as well as invent his own songs. His is a playlist that lasts well into the night.

Lately he’s taken the night off. I miss him.

“Thank heavens he’s stopped,” Alf said.

“Why? I quite liked him,” I said.

“You’ve always needed a lullaby,” Alf says.

“I know you can’t sleep with noise, but this is music, not noise.”

“I bury my head under the pillows,” Alf said.

“But it’s soothing. You’re missing out.”

“He sounds like a hand bell choir, wind chimes, and a tin drum all rolled into one,” Alf said.

“That isn’t noise,” I said.

“That’s because you’re tone deaf.”

Calvin says, “There needs to be a bay in there somewhere, then it would be complete.”


Are The Canaries Singing?

“How are your canaries doing?” I asked Daniel in the kitchen at work. Daniel was preparing a plate of cold cuts and fresh fruit for lunch.

“Doing well. Except the female gets snippy with the male,” he said.

“How do you fix something like that?” I said as I heated a bowl of vegetable soup in the microwave.

“Trade one of them for another bird,” he said.

“Isn’t that a bit soon? You just got them two weeks ago. Surely this match can make it with a little bit of bird therapy,” I said.

Daniel chuckled. “Birds are funny. When they don’t get along, they fight all the time.”

“Maybe they’re two females.”

“No, they’re not.”

“Are you sure? You said the other day they were young birds.”

“The male is, you know, already doing his come-on to the female,” he said taking his lunch plate to the lunchroom. I followed with my soup.

Daniel and I joined Mark and Leslie, two other colleagues, at the table.

“Daniel’s going to have baby canaries soon. He’ll be needing homes for them,” I said to Leslie as I took a spoonful of soup.

“No birds for me. I’m done with animals,” she said.

“I trapped a mouse last night when I got home,” Mark said.

“Is he dead?” I asked.

“Yes,” Mark said laughing. “A nice black little thing. You don’t want to know how I did it.”

“That reminds me of a toad I once had as a child,” Daniel said. “I kept him indoors with me, and one day my mother called out, ‘Daniel!’ and I knew I was in trouble. I found her in the laundry room pointing to the laundry basket. I picked it up and there lay my toad, flat as a pancake.”

Calvin says, “What a stupid toad. If only he had hopped into the dog’s dish, he’d have been camouflaged in the kibble. Then the dog would have had an extra treat.”