Friday, April 24, 2009

A murder of crows

Being out in the country, it is of course entirely natural and expected to see all sorts of critters roaming the area. There's a groundhog that lives in our back yard, and a fox that I see all the time down the road. Deer are everywhere, of course, and the usual suspects like racoons, possums, and so many rabbits that it's not uncommon to see about a dozen of them in the yard.

Then you've got the scaled, slithering, hopping and crawling things like frogs, toads, turtles, snakes, and skinks. We have an ample supply of bugs, too..which leads, naturally, to bats. Lots of bats. I like to sit on the porch in summer when dusk is just starting to fall and watch the bats swoop and dart overhead. That's perhaps my favorite thing in summer. The thick, heady, heavy nights where the fields burn with millions of fireflies, the air smells of honeysuckle and cut grass, and the bats turn into leather-winged acrobats just overhead. If one ignores the mosquitos, it's perfect.

But lately we have had an influx of crows. We have a small flock of chickens, and one day as I watched them scratch and peck in the front yard I realized that one of them was not, in fact, a chicken. It was a crow, mixed in with the flock just as comfy as could be, as though it belonged.

I don't mind crows. But the sheer number of them lately is a tad disturbing. Especially as they're everywhere. They sit low in the trees by the roadside and swoop out as cars pass by. I've so far avoided hitting one, but I've come pretty close. They gather on the wild grape vine we have and cackle at each other like a bunch of gossips. They apparently have infiltrated the chickens. Some mornings when I go outside there are so many in the trees that I feel like I'm stuck in some sort of Hitchcock movie. So far they haven't been a bother, but as all of those black beady eyes turn towards me and they shift and mutter on their perches, I can't help but feel as though they're plotting something.

But then, I'm probably just paranoid after the Thrush went after me the other week. Maybe all of these crows are hitmen hired by the thrush, and they're just waiting for me to accept them as a normal part of the landscape.

If anyone sees a report on the news about a woman in kentucky getting pecked to death by crows, inform the police that a thrush was behind it all.

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