The small bird hopped on Lee’s shoulder. “Legs!” it croaked. “Legs.”

“Yeah, ol’ Legs has been with me a few years,” Lee said. “His wing don’t work, so he can’t fly off like the other mockingbirds. I got him out of the claws of a cat few years back, and he’d been with me ever since. Smart bugger too. Can talk, as y’all can plainly see.”

“I’m pleased to meet you, Legs,” I said.

“Pleased!” the bird pipped back.

“You sure it’s not just repeating what you say all this time?” I asked.

“Well, on account of it’s a mockingbird, I reckon it is some of the time,” Lee said. “Ask him something and see how he does.”

“How’re you feeling, Legs?” I asked.

“Great!” Legs croaked.

“What’s your master called?”

“Lee!”

I smiled. “And what would you call me?”

The bird hesitated, cocking its head. “Dummy!”

Lee burst out chuckling at that. “As you can see, he done earned his name many times over.”

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