In our backyard, among other things, is a pear tree. In that pear tree resides a special bird who we have dubbed "the mean bird". He is often found in or around the pear tree, even when there is no fruit in the tree. There is also no nest in the tree, so it seems he just likes the tree.
If any person or animal happens to be in the backyard during the time he is in the tree, he yells at them very loudly, making it clear he wants not a soul around him or his precious tree. If a creature comes near the tree, that's when he chases them away, screeching at the top of his small bird lungs, sometimes even pecking at the creature during the process. He won't peck at people, though, just animals.
If he happens to be outside when the kids want to play, I usually end up having to chase him away, as he often makes it clear he does not want us there. However, he doesn't scare easily. It takes some effort on my part.
Have you ever seen a grown woman yelling at and shooing a small bird? It's pretty comical, so long as you're not the one doing it. Many times he will keep coming back and yelling right back at me and sometimes I have to laugh because although it is clear he is threatening me, I think it's quite cute and funny that a creature so small would even attempt to challenge a human.
Since I don't believe in harming any creatures, even cute little pesky ones, we just continue to deal with him, which brings me to what I call "The Mean Bird Syndrome".
Many people have a "mean bird" around them at some point in their life. It may be a person or a creature. This mean bird can greatly affect a person's mood if they let it. When that happens, that's what I call "The Mean Bird Syndrome".
While this can be avoided by not letting negativity affect a person, many people still fall victim to The Mean Bird Syndrome. So, how can it be avoided? Well, simply don't let the mean bird's negativity affect you. Keep your positive outlook. No matter what your mean bird says or does to you, do not take those words or actions to heart.
There will likely be many negative people and events in a person's lifetime. You can't let them steal your happiness. This can be hard, especially when words and actions are harsh and hurtful, but being strong and always using the negativity to create a positive force will help you avoid The Mean Bird Syndrome.
Using your positive force may even cause that mean bird to become your friend one day.
As for the mean bird in our pear tree, well I'm still working on making him a friend. Food helps for a few moments, but not long. However, we still aren't letting him put a damper on our outdoor fun. In fact, sometimes he makes it even more fun with all his carrying on.
Thankfully, he's the only mean bird around me right now. However, if and when I cross paths with another mean bird, I'll keep my little "friend" in mind and be sure I do not fall victim to The Mean Bird Syndrome. Will you be sure you don't?
Get your copy of the children’s story and activity book, “Thank You, Mean Bird”, inspired by our bird friend.
P.S. Our mean bird was a Grackle, a common bird seen around the city of Houston, where we used to live when this was first written.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network