What with one thing and another, this year seems a little different. And prone as I am to conspiracy theory, I must be wary of hopping around ideas that really have their basis in what the purists will insist upon calling 'unsubstantiated drivel.' However, I kind of suspect that Mockingbirds have taken to their conference earlier than in the past. The conference is when they all disappear, and I like to think they gather somewhere to discuss the important things, lay down the rules about singing at night, eat funny food, swop stories and generally get along with each other through the period of their molt. Kind of like a holiday for them.
Doesn't mean all Mockingbirds go to conference, and I have a vague memory of
some years ago becoming quite distraught by what I believed was an unattached
boy Mockingbird serenading the night after the manner of Nightingale, though not
nearly as peacefully, and really very aggravating. This year too there is
a renegade. He's just delighted, the only Mockingbird for miles around,
his kingdom vast. And you forget the principal imperatives of being alive, which
are to stay warm in winter, eat and give consideration to future generations of
your kind. So it must be rather lonely for him out there, at three in the
morning, singing away all by himself. And I too must learn patience.