THE STORY OF MOCKINGBIRD AND BLUE JAY
Back before Mockingbird was named Mockingbird he was called Shell Bird. Shell Bird was given his name from the other Forest animals because of the petite cloud-white shell he always wore around his neck. Shell Bird also had the most beautiful Song in all of The Forest When all of the other birds were given their Songs, they were told to swallow them and they did. But when Shell Bird was given his Song, the clearest, cleanest, dearest melody out of all the Songs, he was told to put it into a shell and wear it around his neck. But with his Song came a stern warning: that if he ever got it wet he would lose his precious Song forever.
Shell Bird wasn’t a very smart bird; surely Eagle was the smartest in The Forest. He wasn’t the prettiest bird, the brightly coloured Parrot had him beaten by far, but what Shell Bird did have was his Song. All of the other birds were very envious of his Song, and Shell bird knew this and enjoyed flaunting his special gift whenever possible.
Now the Jay might not have been the most intelligent or the prettiest either, but he was definitely the cleverest, not only out of all the birds but the cleverest animal in all of The Forest and spent most of his days conning some poor dumber animal out of his food. Once he had even convinced the very dim-witted Brown Bear to pick him a year’s supply of blackberries, and though Brown Bear was continually poked by the blackberry thorns and his back legs ached from straining for the top juiciest, blackest berries, he did pick them in record time. But this time Jay had set his sights on something more valuable than food.
Jay found Shell Bird on a bush by the pond late in the afternoon. Jay casually began to chat with Shell Bird about the approaching summer months and the other birds in the forests. Since they were looking over the pond, the subject turned to a contest that Jay and Duck had held to see how many tadpoles they could catch in a given amount of...