The crow population of Vancouver has a personal vendetta against me.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: RG, they’re birds. They’re too busy being majestic flying beasts and, like, breaking open clams to pay attention to you.
And, I would normally agree with you.
Now, to my knowledge, I have never wronged a crow. Sure, when I was a kid, I chased some down the beach in the midst of my child-like wonder. And, yeah, I’ve probably laughed at one or two of the more rotund crows in my neighbourhood. But, wronged? No.
So, I’m left thinking: which crow has been talking shit about me in the Vancouver Crow Community?
Because, it is becoming increasingly clear that I am on their Shit List.
Here’s my evidence:
- Every morning at approximately 4:00 AM, a crow sits directly outside of my bedroom window and caws until sunrise (for no identifiable reason, other than to just be an annoying fucker).
- Once, while out on a walk, a crow flew over me and pooped just to my left. For one glorious second, I was filled with the burst of joy that comes with narrowly avoiding being hit by flying poop. And then the poop hit the lamppost beside me and ricocheted onto my forehead. (Yes, ricocheted).
- A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to eat a hotdog on the beach. While I was in the midst of enjoying the moment (taking in the early summer sun, smelling the ocean air, etc.), a crow landed on the log beside me and started cawing at me. Like, not just in my general direction. Eye contact was involved. I told him to chill his skillet, as one does with crows, but, he just wouldn’t stop. So, I picked up my hotdog and walked to another log, thinking that this would satisfy him. But, no. The crow followed me. And he followed me to the next log, and the next log, and the next, until finally I gave up and went home with my half-finished hot dog. Only now am I truly realizing that I allowed a bird to throw me off of a public beach like some kind of bouncer at an exclusive night club.
- I have been chased down an entire city block by a crow more than once in my life. I get that crows sometimes utilize the Dive Bomb to fend off attackers. But, to my knowledge, I’m not giving off the “I’m going to fuck up your nest” vibe when I’m walking down the street.
So, yesterday, when my dad looked out of our living room window and announced that a murder of crows was getting their murder on with one of their very own, I must admit that I didn’t feel a huge rush of sympathy.
I mean, I got that pang that you get in your chest when you’re watching a show about baby elephants on the Discovery Channel, and one of the elephants gets separated from its pack, and David Attenborough narrates its sad road into starvation and loneliness.
It’s a kind of dislocated sadness. A sigh and a shrug. But, that was it.
Of course, my dad (a man who used to name the cooked lobsters on people’s plates) decided that this moment did not call for a sigh and a shrug. It called for action. Without another word, he snatched a brown paper bag out of the cupboard and sprinted out of the house. A few minutes later, the cawing outside our living room window intensified. Louder and louder and louder. Until, silence.
The front door opened. He was carrying the brown paper bag like he was a character in The Hurt Locker. A bomb waiting to be defused.
I was immediately suspicious.
“What’s in the bag?”
He closed the door. Quietly, gingerly. “A crow.”
“WHAT?” (It is well known in the RG Household that I am generally opposed to the existence of crows).
“They were attacking him. They were going to kill him.”
I opened my mouth to argue (“What if it’s DISEASED and that’s why it was marked to DIE” or “Maybe it’s like a sacrificial crow to the Crow God and it needed to die so that the Crow God won’t bring death and destruction to us all!”), but I closed my mouth just as quickly. My dad was murmuring into the bag. Soft and gentle. Telling the crow that it would be all right.
It’s hard to argue with that.
The crow spent the night in a cardboard box in my dad’s bedroom next to a saucer of water and a rice cake covered in peanut butter (because God knows what you can feed to a crow).
We called him Jon Snow. Because the opportunity was there. And we took it.
At dawn (true to form for crows with membership in the VCC), Jon Snow started to caw. He’d had enough of life in a cardboard box. He wanted to see the world again.
My dad opened his bedroom window and set him free.
Now, doesn’t that story just make your heart swell into a little pink bubble of joy?
Because, can you imagine the memo circulating in the Vancouver Crow Community right now?
Attention: All Crows in the Greater Vancouver Region
Our arch-nemesis, RG (You remember her face. Obviously), was seen harboring the Sacrificial Crow on the evening of June 18th in the year of our Crow God 2015.
She must pay.