I think it was many years ago that I first heard the call of the mockingbird. I was lying in bed, trying to sleep, when I suddenly realized there was a strange noise coming from outside. I wasn't sure if it had just started, or if it had been going for hours. For all I knew, I could have been hearing that same sound every night for my whole life, and never noticed it. But for whatever reason, I noticed it this night.
At first, I had no idea what it was. Why is there a bird singing in the middle of the night? Do birds do that? And its call was very distinctive. It would tweet one way three or four times in a row, then it would tweet another way three or four times in a row. And then it would tweet another way, and another way, never repeating itself. So I suddenly realized, it's one of those mockingbirds I've heard so much about!
I recall that in To Kill a Mockingbird, there was a single reference to mockingbirds:
"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
But Miss Maudie! There's a mockingbird nearby that's always singing its heart out at 2:00 am. It's pretty loud too. Maybe if its call weren't so interesting to listen to, I would mentally block it out like I do with the freeway noises, but as is, I think it's cutting into my sleep! (Not that I would ever shoot at it...)