Hey hi, what’ve ya got?” I asked, walking out to greet him.
“Crows, “he said. “You have these two crows just sitting here. I’ve never seen crows do that!”
He walked closer. They stood their ground. Even closer. Still they stood. When he was six feet away one crow hopped a bit leftward and looked away. The other kind of hunkered down and regarded us.
“Is he hurt? Maybe he’s hurt and his friend is staying to comfort him.”
“He looks OK.”
“I’ve been hearing crow calls for an hour, come to think of it.”
We both looked around. A third crow was sitting on the roof of the shed and a fourth one perched in a tree.”
“Wo, maybe this is a.. whadyacallit?”
“An omen? Like maybe something bad is going to happen?”
“Yeah to the nice guy from the electric company!”
“Are they drawn to carrion? I think they’re drawn to carrion.”
We got really quiet, and looked around for corpses.
“My tendency is to go inside. I almost got my finger taken off by a swan once.”
His tendency? To get even closer. He wasn’t a foot away when the birds finally flew off, first the sentinel and then the immobile one who had been staring us down.
He came inside, then, fixed the trouble, recommended a restaurant for us to try and said he’s hoping that his son will join the Navy after high school.
After he left the place got quiet. Too quiet. Two hours later the sun went down and the moon came up, a full moon, and all over the woods the crows kept cawing.