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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Singing Bird Clock....

The Singing Bird Clock

The other day I was strolling along in the local discount mart when what should I spy but a "Singing Bird Clock." Wow, for under $20 this was a deal! A genuine plastic, Singing Bird Clock, approved by the Birdwatchers' Society, as seen on TV. I could hardly control my enthusiasm.

I've always loved birds, especially the colorful backyard variety. I've put up bird feeders, bought sunflower seed, even studied a pocket guide to try and identify my favorites. I've never quite been involved enough to take a course or go out with field glasses to bird watch or anything radical. But, birds can be beautiful and their songs are enjoyable to hear.

Yep, a Singing Bird Clock would be a lovely addition to my home, I decided as, I chunked it into my shopping cart.

Now in case you should be one of the very few people in the world who has not seen a commercial on TV for a Singing Bird Clock, let me explain how it works. It is sort of like a regular clock, to a point. The numbers have been replaced with pictures of birds, and when the clock strikes the hour, the bird sings. Pretty cute, huh? Yeah, that's what I thought. Kind of a modern version of a cuckoo clock - except this cuckoo brought friends.

The bird sounds are, to the clock maker's credit, very authentic recordings of actual birds calls. It must have been hell getting them into a recording studio and up to the microphone, but that's another story.

Anyhow, the bird clock was hung in the den, and I could hardly wait for the hour to strike so I could hear the birds sing. And sing they did… and sing…and sing…and sing…every hour… all day… every day… day after day… rain or shine… There is a mockingbird, a chickadee, a cardinal, a woodpecker (yes!), a goose, a wren, a robin, a sparrow, a kingfisher, a titmouse, an oriole, and last, but far from least -- believe me -- a great horned owl!

They seem to have a knack for singing at the time when I least expect it. Imagine being deep in thought and suddenly having a goose honk out at you, or being in another room and hearing a terrible commotion, only to realize it is just the clock reaching the hour and a kingfisher joyfully celebrating the occasion.

Well, I'm not sure how much more joyful celebrating I'm going to be able to stand. The dog runs to the clock every time it chirps, wondering what in the world is this noise all about. The cat, strangely, is unaffected and seems to take it in stride and ignore it. Being a longtime bird watcher and practically a card carrying member of the Audubon Club, I think, perhaps, she instinctively knows the difference between a real bird and a recorded message.

The only redeeming feature of this warbling tick-tock is a light sensor that prevents it from singing all night. Kind of makes me wonder if the makers didn't have a hunch that it might become a pest.

Well, I'd really love to write more, but it's half past the titmouse and soon going to strike the oriole. I'm in a great hurry to turn out the light and put my feathered friends to sleep for the night. For some reason I have a feeling that Singing Bird Clocks may be a very popular item at garage sales soon. If you want one, you can probably get it for a song.

Copyright 1998 Sheila Moss

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