A funny story from a reader published in Impromptus:
I’m a law student at Texas Tech University, and I have a bird story. Sadly, this is just about the most exciting thing that’s happened on our sleepy campus.
Trees are a precious commodity in Lubbock, mainly because we don’t have any native trees here. That means that when somebody plants a tree, birds nest there. It’s that simple.
Well, in front of our law school a mockingbird has taken up residence. Mockingbirds, if you don’t know, are quite territorial, much like blue jays. And this particular mockingbird is attacking students and profs. Once, the bird’s claws got caught in a professor’s tweed jacket.
Fortunately for our winged raider, the mockingbird has official immunity — it’s the state bird of Texas. So we can’t kill the bird. We can’t even harm the bird. So what does the university do? Move the bird? Destroy the nest so that it will leave?
No. They erected a barricade around the tree. An orange one (barricade, not tree). Apparently, the university believes that the attack radius is only about 30 feet in diameter. According to the zoology department, however, birds are capable of flying much greater distances, and this mockingbird proves that daily as it flies over the barricade laughing as it targets fresh victims.
We climbed to the top of the food chain, only to mollycoddle mockingbirds. Sheesh!
At first I was mad about this, that we’re in Texas and can’t shoot some wacky bird. But then I rethought the situation. I’m now kind of proud that our state bird isn’t some pansy little songbird. No! Our state bird is a butt-kicking, fire-breathing, territorial, vicious beast. How could you get more Texan than that?