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Crow Business

June 2, 2010

Well first off, I should be shot for today’s post title.

There are a couple of crows that hang out in the back yard; the person whose house this is feeds them and as a result they’re even cockier and more aggressive than most birds (I know I’ve told the story of the g.d. Vancouver Zoo ostrich that bit me in the face in 1983, and I’m pretty sure I’ve also told the story of the g.d. goose that jumped right up in my face and stole a KitKat bar out of my hand at UW). Often when I step out to do the recycling the ringleader of these conceited s.o.b. crows shrieks insults at me from the patio railing it sits perched on all day like Simeon friggin’ Stylites. Maybe there’s something I could do to improve the dynamic of our relationship, I’m not sure. I think maybe I’m just destined for a lifetime of hostile run-ins with birds.

Anyway, I let Sappho out yesterday; her disordered psychology keeps her from roaming the neighbourhood like a normal cat would, but she likes to slip out the window and prowl the short stretch of sidewalk outside my bedroom window and sample the various flowerbed grasses on offer (there’s better variety here than there ever was in Calgary). I was sitting on the bed editing a poem and Sappho was out there tiptoeing and slinking her way down the sidewalk when suddenly the air was filled with the most passionately angry crow profanity I’ve ever heard. It seemed extremely close to the window; after a couple of minutes I peeked out and there was Blacky McFeatherston looking down from a patio post with an enraged look in his or her eyes, screaming at my cat, who was cowering pathetically under some foliage. I think she was trying to hide her entire self, but the leaves were only covering her up to the neck, because she’s so effing large.

I started trying to convince her to come in, which caused the crow to turn its head and start bitching me out, so I flipped it the bird, which felt appropriate in the moment but in hindsight probably wasn’t. The cat crept in and I found myself feeling a standard parental combination of protectiveness and disappointment. Like, on the one hand, that crow was clearly the instigator and it was bullying my precious beloved cat for no reason, but on the other hand, Sappho’s like 20 times its size and could have brought it down in four seconds if it had come anywhere near her, and if she had any self-esteem she’d have realized that and been like, “Bring it, asshole!” instead of trying to wedge her gigantic ass under a fern.

Later, on my way home from laying the smack down on Cheap Safeway Day, I saw a woodpecker gleefully rolling around in a pile of sand, which softened my avianimosity somewhat, I guess.

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