Sunday, July 06, 2008

Crows vs. Owl

A Sunday morning walk, around the levee that keeps our neighborhood from the marshy bay. As we walked the portion that backs up to a street, we heard the oh-so-familiar argument of crows droning on in the tall trees of someone's yard. As we got closer, the volume and intensity increased. We imagined those folks in their house, cursing the crows, as they were trying to sleep in on the holiday weekend. We stopped to count how many crows we could see among the leaves. The tree was alive with movement. Suddenly, the cawing changed tempo and pitch, and the group started to fly off. As they rose from the tree like a black cloud, we saw one white bird in their midst. It was a huge owl, whose heavy square head and wide wingspread looked awkward and graceful all at once. The twenty or more crows dove at him and surrounded him. He flapped his wings slowly and moved away easily as they tried to peck and warn him. They came at him from all sides, but he never seemed to get flustered or hit. We watched in awe as the feathered pack flew on through the neighborhood to alight in the next set of tall trees. They went on to awaken yet another family.

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