I sat beneath an old oak tree; one of a circle of them in the middle of a large field where a chestnut mare and her foal grazed peacefully.
Much to my delight a baby rabbit hopped slowly towards me and stopped just at my side.
My back against the trunk of the great tree, my legs were spread out on the grass as she cautiously sniffed my trousers.
She looked at me with her brown eyes and asked “Will you hurt me?”
And I replied “No, I would never do that.”
I stretched out my left hand slowly and stroked her on the head and she closed her eyes in pleasure. And then her mother came quite close too.
She said “We don’t know men who are good; we only know the ones who try to kill us.”
And I said “You are right not to trust us. We do not even trust ourselves.”
“I don’t understand,” she replied. “We creatures do not kill our own as you do. We care for each other and that is how we survive.”
The jackdaws in the trees above all laughed out loud, and the wood pigeons joined the debate too.
They shouted out together “You men are fools because you do not understand that this land belongs to all of us. It is our life, and if you destroy it we are all doomed.”
All I could say in return was “I will try. I love you all. Good night my friends.”
“Atticus said to Jem one day, “I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. “Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird