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Alex McRae Columnist

Published Sunday, November 11, 2012

Something to crow about

In the aftermath of momentous events, it’s natural to look for signs and wonders to help us make sense of things.

The latest such event was the 2012 presidential contest. And ever since it was clear that President Obama would be in office another four years, I’ve been filled with questions and starved for answers.

Will Obamacare break the bank, I wondered. Will the Israelis attack Iran? Will the federal reserve continue to inflate the money supply? Will the Braves ever win another World Series?

I pondered it all and decided that, with the exception of the World Series, I was in control of what happens in my life the next four years and the best politician — or the worst —can’t change that.

But whether you’re predicting the future or seeing the doctor — it never hurts to get a second opinion. And lo, just two days after the election I got a sign from above. Specifically, above my car in the top of a tree.

I was on a drug store run. I parked, dashed inside to pick up some prescriptions and came back out ready to drive away.

Before I even opened the door I was attacked by the biggest, nastiest crow I had ever seen. It flew up to the tree as I approached, then swooped right back down to the asphalt and starting acting like an extra in “The Birds,” darting toward me, screeching and cawing and doing his birdly best to back me off.

I wasn’t in the mood for any sass. My last fistfight was in the 12th grade, but I was ready to go toe-to-toe with that crow. Didn’t happen. He managed to dance away each time I waved my arms, flying off to the tree and coming back, claws and beak bared and ready for action.

It never came close enough to do any damage, except for the small splatter on my hood.

I was not just irritated, but confused. I’ve learned more lessons watching my former cats and backyard coons, coyotes and possums in recent years than I have from humans, but I had no clue what was behind this bizarre behavior. Unless the crow was demonstrating how not to get invited into the bird version of the Junior League.

This went on for maybe 10 minutes. I began to wonder if this was the sign I had been waiting for. My mind raced. It might be a sign of the apocalypse, I thought. Or a warning that animals were touchy because an earthquake was coming, or the Russians, or a mob of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

It was finally too much to ponder and just as my brain was about to explode I waved the crow off once more and jumped in the car. Before I cranked up, the crow had disappeared. It was nowhere in sight. Until I backed up.

There it was, trying to pry the pieces of a discarded chicken biscuit off the parking lot on the other side of my car. The crow had been snacking on it when I drove up and was just trying to guard its goodies.

A second or two later the crow was flying off, chicken and biscuit bulging from both sides of its beak.

I felt stupid. But I also felt relieved. I think the Bible says: “In the day of mourning the crow shall not forsake its chicken remnant.”

If that’s not in the Bible, it should be.

Either way, the whole episode made me feel better about things. For humans, the election result was a big deal. For a crow, it was business as usual. That’s good enough for me.

( send your email comments to: alex@newnan.com )

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