Monday, February 22, 2010

A Murder of Crows

Friday started early, just as the sky was brightening. The weather was cool rather than frigid. A light breeze blew across our deck as I kept my dog, Maggie, company as she surveyed her domain, the back yard.

I am required, by Maggie, to do this at least twice a day. Her “Watch me, Mommy, watch me!” is so reminiscent of the never-ceasing, frighteningly similar, calls I made to my father while he would accompany me to the public pool when I was eight. I am not surprised at how often I went alone. Please, no finger-shaking; I am unscathed by the experience of doing many things alone, including driving cross-country at 16. It was a different time. I demanded independence.

While I attended Her Highness, I stretched and scanned the sky. I usually hear doves cooing time of year. This day I heard the distinctive caw of a crow. And another crow. And another crow. Well, this is different, I thought. Then I saw them; six, flying in a kind of missing-man formation; soon, another crow filled in the vacant spot, and a few others joined in. Crows flying in formation? Who knew? Certainly not I. Then I remembered that a group of crows is called a murder.  How cool is that? And how poetic?

It was an auspicious beginnig to a glorious, sunny day.  Sublime.  And then Maggie (AKA Devil Dog) begins to bark.  "Shh!  Maggie, people are sleeping" I implore her.  No go.  I'm not sure she understands any English words but dinner, breakfast, treat, and walk. 

She bounds on her short legs to the corner of our yard, woofing all the way.  What an embarrassment!  Then I see them, just outside the fence; a pair of deer.  Maggie's reputation has obviously proceeded her, because they glanced her way, then continued their leisurely stroll through the neighborhood.

A VERY good morning.

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