If I went around to the other side of the patio, so it did. If I returned, it did so as well. This went on for a few hours. Later in the day, I returned and so did “Chip”. It’s as though he/she kept a watchful eye on my back door.
As novel as it was, I considered it just a fluke: a happening that would never happen again.
WRONG! Next day, we went through the same ritual. I go outdoors and in an instant, Chip is there. And again for the next day or so.
As they are the bird world’s greatest mimics, when it chirped at me, I chirped right back. It said ‘‘chip” so I said “chip” right back at it and thus the daily conversation went.
Then, with a heavy heart, I had to go away for a few days. I regretted leaving the fun I was having (old people do strange things, but this cost nothing but my time).
When I got back, no more Chip. I wasted an awful amount of time out back, chirping my little old heart out but to no avail.
Until Monday of last week. Guess I had what’s left of my mind in bird land.
One of my great grandsons called to say they were caring for an injured baby bird and that made me wonder what ever happened to Chip when, lo and behold, something made me go out back and I had no sooner slammed the door than I heard the familiar chirping that I had been searching for.
Chip is back! And with a vengeance. If I go out the side door, Chip comes barreling down the driveway, then up to the chimney to watch. If I cross the backyard, Chip sits on top of the swing frame and waits. If I criss-cross the yard, Chip follows and perches on the jungle gym, chirping the whole time.
And he/she can be seen surveying the backyard from the top of the dawn-to-dusk light pole.
In the back of my mind, I was trying to figure who I might tell about my adventure. Who’d believe me. Until today. Allen was out on the patio installing a new light fixture and came in to complain that some blankety-blank bird was squawking its fool head off out there. Sure enough, it was Chip. Those who know me, know I go to bed ‘with the chickens’ and Allen made the mistake to go out there alone just before dark and guess who was waiting for him? Hope he speaks Chipanese!
Our backyard has a number of feeding and watering stations for birds but the books say that mockingbirds aren’t feeder feeders. Looking for more info as to what I can set out to entice him to stay in the neighborhood.
And as I write this, he’s perched in the Sweet Olive tree, a constant eye on the back door. It is times like this that I miss my good friend Aunt Claudia. There was never a bird question that she couldn’t answer. Wish I had listened more. But there’s no crying over spilled milk.
I fully realize that on any given day, Chip will fly off into the wild blue yonder and I’ll be found wandering around the backyard calling ‘‘Chip, Chip’’ like an old fool.
“Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”.
Time for me to dig into the bird books and find out, if having a mockingbird for a pet is the norm.
Better than the pet snakes we used to have around here!