The boy was frowning again. He frowned a lot these days.
The boy was frowning again. He frowned a lot these days “What’s wrong now?” the grandfather asked. “Why do they call them mockingbirds?” “They’re called that because the little devils mock other critters, even the likes of you and me.” “Grandpa, why are mockingbirds so cruel?” Now it was time for the old man to frown. Kids shouldn’t be troubled by such as that. Not having a ready answer, he thought a moment. He would never say it, but he thought the boy was way too sensitive for his own good. Time and experience would toughen him up, maybe. If not, a world of suffering lay ahead. Either way, he wouldn’t be around to see. “Well, here’s how it is. The mockingbird is chockfull of mockery because way back a long time before you were even thought about, or me either for that matter, it was voted down as National Bird. That high honor went to the bald eagle, a carrion-eater grand enough to look at, but, just between you and me, eagles can’t carry a tune worth a darn. Morning, noon, and night mockingbirds sing circles around bald eagles, as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson knew full well, yet the flashiest looking of the feathered two was elected first ballot, and ever since then has been sung about, written about, and in every way possible honored to the hilt, while the little songster that came in distant second is lucky to get mentioned in forgettable songs and poems. The only way the loser has of getting even is by mocking everything and everybody in sight, including you and me. Now what do you think about that?” “I think you made it up, Grandpa. All I asked for was the Truth and nothing but, and all you did was tell me a lie. Why do you lie so much?” Oh, boy. Rather than strike back, as he would have if an adult had said such a thing, the old man shook his head. Yep, the kid had a world of hurt to look forward to in years to come. What he wanted to tell him was “Look, lighten up, buddy, for your own good.” He wanted to tell him how making up stuff was the best way most people have of coping with a world beyond understanding. He wanted to tell him most of all that if people only stuck to talking about what they knew for sure, there would be a whole lot of silence happening. The kid was still way too young to hear any of that. “Good luck, kid,” he said, having nothing better to add, although under his breath he whispered, “Lord knows you’ll need it” springhousemagazine.com