One day I walked a couple blocks to a little barbeque restaurant called Speakeasy’s. I purchased a pulled pork sandwich with a side of herb and garlic mashed potatoes, a fresh corn muffin, and some spicy pepper coleslaw. Normally I would eat in the restaurant, but today I got my meal to go.
On the walk home, I passed a KFC. Along the power lines crows would congregate to scavenge the parking lot. Today they were out in full force and greeted me with a sudden barrage of cawing as I walked into their midst.
Their cries became louder quite rapidly and a couple more showed up nearby, landing just above me in the trees or power lines. I didn’t pay them much attention until a black streak crossed in front of me and I felt the wind from the bird’s wings. Stunned, my eyes followed him, but just before he landed, another movement caught my eye and I turned just in time to see another crow pulling out of a dive to skim just over my head.
I ducked, putting my free hand over my head as another crow dove at me, then another and another, each pulling back at the last second, getting bolder with every drop until I could swear I felt feathers brushing against my arms and my eyes sealed shut in fear of being ripped out by hungry talons.
I knew immediately what they wanted, the smell of my barbeque and mashed potatoes smothered in garlic, butter and herbs overwhelming even that of KFC.
But I wasn’t about to give it up, so I kept my head down and tried to keep my arm above my head and pushed forward. There were four or five crows that kept at it for a block and a half, each diving at a nice rhythm, the next one starting his dive just as the previous one was pulling up to land. While not in flight they would caw without break, their screams overwhelming any other sounds in the neighborhood.
Finally I just stood up tall, knowing that these animals wouldn’t willingly crash into my face and just tried to ignore them as the black streaks whipped across my vision, too fast and close to make out details. Finally within a block of my house, they gave up and retreated back to their home base at KFC.
So when I ate my barbeque dinner, it was especially delicious, but there had been a few points where my subconscious had wanted to just drop it and let them have it, and I imagined a six year old girl with a chicken wing being harassed by a bunch of hungry crows. They didn’t get my food that day, but no doubt they had developed a successful and entertaining strategy and I had to give them props for that.