Blues Ain't No Mockingbird

by Toni Cade Bambara

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 223

Children are playing in a front yard. The twin boys from next door, Tyrone and Terry, are on the tire swing, while the narrator and her cousin, Cathy, jump and dance on a frozen puddle. The narrator’s grandmother is on the back porch, ladling rum over the Christmas cakes she has baked. Near the house, in a meadow, are two men who have been there all morning shooting film with their movie camera; they claim they are from the county and are making a film that has to do with food stamps. Granny has asked them to get off the property and has protested their filming, but although they have moved father away they have continued to film.

Granddaddy Cain returns home from the woods where he has shot a chicken hawk. The two filmmakers film his approach. Granny asks him to get the men out of her flower bed.

Granddaddy Cain holds out his hand for the camera. Without arguing, the men give it to him. They explain they are filming for the county. One of the man asks for the camera back, using the word ‘‘please.’’ Granddaddy smashes the camera. The camera man gathers up the pieces. Granddaddy tells the men that he and Granny own this place and they are standing in her flower bed. The men back away.

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