I’m not sure if I’ll be back to write again, because there might be some kind of bird epidemic going on at my house and there is a chance I will be consumed by it before the end of the month.
My husband called me out to the front yard this morning to ‘come see something’. When I got to the door I assessed his face for clues about what I would be seeing. Based on his expression I could only assume he had either bought me a puppy, someone had stolen our fence, or there was a human body on the front walk. It turns out I’m horrible at reading his facial cues. Maybe it’s no surprise how upset he was when I laughed after he bumped his head on a wooden beam that left him with a good sized bleeding gash. I swear his face said something more along the lines of ‘I squirted grapefruit juice into my eye by accident, or ‘I think I gave the wrong address to the pizza delivery guy’. Hilarious either way. Bleeding out in the basement apparently less so.
When I got to the door, he pointed to a spot beneath our tree to a lifeless looking pile of feathers. He told me he had been standing outside drinking his coffee while taking in the lazy Sunday morning and probably squeaking out a few farts in solitude away from me, when he head a clatter in the tree. He looked up and witnessed an actual live death.
Is that oxymoronic to say it like that?
There it was. A crow lying under the tree in an I’ve-fallen-and-can’t-get-up pose, yet no medic alert button was going to save this bird. He was done.
My first thought was thank God it wasn’t about the fence or a human, because I’m not a monster. However, now that I was done feeling relief about the fence, I changed tune and swung into crime scene mode. What if people saw us standing out here around the body? Would they think we had done it? Crows are loud and we complain about them every morning at 6am when apparently their stock market opens up because its all BUY SELL EAT GARBAGE screaming outside our window. We fit the person of interest profile perfectly.
In an effort to cover my criminal tracks that had not been left, I phoned our city department of What The Hell Do I Do With This and was greeted by a happy woman named Cathy. She seemed more down to earth than the Cathy with a K Cathy’s, so I was happy to be dealing with her. K Kathy’s can be real loose cannons.
I explained my situation to her, then blurted out at the end that we certainly did not kill the bird (all calls are recorded for quality assurance and sketchy confessions). She giggled at the picture I laid out for her. Now I knew how my husband felt…my face was clearly distressed and she misread it however impossible that would have been with this being a phone call. Still, it felt a little more like something a Kathy might do.
She told me how since it was on my property and was not a larger animal like a bobcat or a moose, the homeowner was in charge of removing it. Or, she offered, I could wait until the next day when someone from the city could come clean that up for me. I asked her about delivering the bird to their secret testing department to make sure the bird hadn’t died of a sudden antrhrax exposure or cholera. As she was explaining to me this was not a real department a car rolled past our intersection, darting their judgemental eyes between us and the dead bird while probably shaking their heads. I couldn’t have this body resting in my yard all day and be labelled as the neighbourhood killer, so I cut short her made up story about the secret department not existing and told her we would take care of it ourselves. I thanked Cathy/Kathy for her time and poked one more We Didn’t Kill The Crow into the goodbyes. Better safe than sorry.
With a shovel in hand and a plastic bag lined with paper towels for comfort, we scooped up the sudden death from our lawn. I said a heartfelt goodbye to the bird because all life is meaningful, then tipped him into the garbage can.
I’m not convinced it died of natural causes or high cholesterol from all the garbage it eats, and for the foreseeable future, every slight upset stomach or tingling sensation in an extremity will be because of the horrible unseen malady that killed the crow. My husband’s face right now is expressing that either my assumption is ridiculous or he has misplaced his keys again. I guess we’ll never know.