Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Something to Crow About



It's near Halloween and all, but still, the sight of many large crows sitting atop our roof, staring at me intently as I returned from my morning walk bothered me. It was not the first time it had happened. I had noticed them sitting there, about the same time on previous mornings.
HOB had not left for work, so I asked him about it.

"Have you noticed all the crows on our roof?" I said.

"Crows? On our roof? Humm...."

"Well, they've been doing it a lot." I said, "Don't you think it's kind of weird that it's just on our house and not on other people's?"

"I think it's sort of cool," he said, and went about preparing for his day of work.

Now, people have varying opinions about crows. Some think of them as pesky and loud, with a semi-demonic look to them. HOB, on the other hand, reveres crows. Long-time readers will remember the love story of HOB and Edgar Allen Crow, a tale that involves passion, devotion, and just a little touch of freezer burn.

Perhaps, I thought, HOB had some sort of connection with the crows gathering on the roof, and maybe he was, in some way, sending out a psychic energy that made the crows perch on our roof. The Crow Whisperer. Even as this romantic thought and possible money-making opportunity for HOB's own show on the National Geographic Channel, crossed through my mind, another more pragmatic thought came along with it.

In nearly every neighborhood, people refer to houses or families by significant features associated with the house. Therefore nicknames like, "Big Porch House," "Five Car House," or "Troubled Teen House," are developed as shortcuts for addresses or in the absence of/lack of interest in family names.

Suppose that our house became the ominously named "The House Where the Crows Gather?" It would be said in a hushed, foreboding tone. "We live two doors down from 'The House Where the Crows Gather.'" I could see it now: me, happy Betty walking down the street while the neighbors stop, stare, point and whisper, "It's the woman from 'The House Where the Crows Gather.'"

"It's a little creepy," I said the next day when I saw the crows again.

"Oh, it's fine," HOB said.

I noticed when I opened the garage door to go to work, about an hour after HOB had left, that the crows all flew to the roof, staring at me intently. One morning it dawned on me: perhaps I, not HOB, was their intended contact. Could it be I was their channel into the human world, designated by this tribe of noble birds to carry a message from them to my species, a message that would be deep and meaningful--a message that would help save the earth and its people from destruction?

I stared back, trying to understand their missive, trying decipher the vital directive from the natural world, but to no avail. I vowed, for the sake of my people, my country, my world, to keep trying.

Apparently, the vital, momentous, meaningful message was "Seconds! We want seconds."

The whole mystery cleared up the next morning when I heard the garage door open and went out to say goodbye to HOB who was leaving for work. However, I did not find him in his car. Instead, I found him in the side yard, his fist full of dry cat food.

He was throwing it on the roof. And there, lined up like Starbucks customers in their business power-suits on a Monday morning, were the crows, looking down, placing their order to the busy crowista below. "Throw some more!" they squawked. "Do it now!"

"Are you kidding me?" I asked. "You've been feeding them every morning when you open the garage door? No wonder we look like the freak show of the neighborhood."

HOB looked at me, cat food dust still on his fingers and said, "What? What are you saying?" feigning an expression of confusion, like I was speaking a foreign language under water--all in a feeble attempt to buy time. He then looked at his watch and decided he was terribly late to work.

"No!" I said, as he backed out of the drive. "No! You can't keep doing this! It makes us look really, really strange!" I yelled, as I followed the car down the drive. Neighbors, children walking to school, and assorted dog walkers all turned my way.

I stopped, and pretended to be intensely interested in a sprinkler head on the lawn.

When I felt that my ruse had worked, I made my way back to the house, all the while knowing, knowing I was being watched--watched from the roof of "The House Where the Crows Gather."

71 comments:

Peggy K said...

He's feeding the crows??? No telling what other diabolical things HOB is up to. I say, grab the duct tape, set up a chair outside, tape that man to the chair and put some of that kitty chow in his lap. That'll cure him!!!
Hugs and Love!

Seams Inspired said...

LOL! Truly, this could be the start of a very good movie. Don't be surprised if you see it intertwined in some Hollywood plot very soon.

Happy Wednesday! :o)

Mellisa Rock said...

Fabulous story telling as always...that's hilarious that he was feeding them!! I did that one in my backyard - My Mom was so mad.

Daisy said...

AHA HA HA HA HA HA HA! How sneaky! And hilarious! I can't believe he didn't tell you what he was doing. Thanks for the morning laugh. :D

Madi and Mom said...

BB,
At first I had a vivid picture of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds in my mind. I could just see you all boarding up your windows being held captive in your home. Then I got to the punch lineHOB feeding them Mable and Zelda's food???!!! Do they know? I was rolling on the floor!!! OMC Madi guards the pantry where her food is kept. I'm sure she counts each piece at night. Heads would roll if she found out her food was been thrown to the birds. HOB is a very brave man.
Hugs Madi and Mom

Mamma has spoken said...

Keep in mind, what goes in one end comes out the other. In a month or two, depending on if it rains, he might have to 'clean' the effects off the roof, making the feeding of the crows not so fun any more.

Kathie @ Just a Happy Housewife said...

HAHAHAHAHA....that is hilarious. At first it made me think of the Stephen King book, The Dark Half (but those were sparrows if I remember correctly)....we nickname neighbors we don't know either. There was "mustang guy's house" until they moved...."Hillbilly" and then "brother & sister" because it's a couple and they look like they're brother and sister.

Joe Cap said...

I think this is awesome, Betty.
I happen to really love birds, and I am very fond of crows.
HOB is pretty cool in my book!

Flartus said...

Lol, I was going to suggest you research the native Americans' view of crows for some insight.

But, uh, never mind. Maybe you just need to lock up the cat food. Or HOB.

Carol said...

This was the best story yet. We had turkey vultures on the roof across the street. Found out a wood chuck was dead in the back yard. Yes you have to feed them to have them. Yuk in our case.

Leah J. Utas said...

Feeding crows? Now that's devotion.

Old Kitty said...

Awwwww!! I for one applaud HOB!! Yay for him!! LOL!!!!

And I think you can't do any better than "The House Where the Crow Gathers"!! It's says CLASSY!!

Take care
x

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

The pastor that performed my parents' wedding wrote a children's story about the crow he kept for a pet. I can't remember the name of his book, but he reports that crows are really loyal and intelligent. This crow would follow him as he drove in his car from his home to the church. He fed it and loved it as a pet.

So HOB has a lot of pets, but he's not alone in crow appreciation!

Liz said...

Uh oh...I can't say that I've ever heard of support groups for people like HOB, but I'm sure there has GOT to be some kind of Crow Lovers Anonymous out there!

Copyboy said...

I wish you could see me laughing out loud at the computer screen! People are staring at me at work!! I love your confrontation with HOB. Hey, a man's got to feed his crows. You didn't know that?

Jules said...

LOL, "The Crow Whisperer." Reminded me of "The Birds." Good read here my dear.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

KLZ said...

This is 100% something my husband would do. He lectured me this morning on how mice are cute and we should feel guilty for stealing their homes.

Marlene said...

Those birds are HUGE!!! Get a few of them up on the roof, and before you know it...CRASH.....they fall through and you've got a horrific scene from The Birds in your living room!

Brian Miller said...

haha...love this...nig smiles at teh closing scene...i am sure they heard nothing...lol.

Jimmy said...

"lined up like Starbucks customers in their business power-suits"

I can just see this, we have so many crows hanging around here that I just may try HOB's trick to gather them onto the roof--you think Cindy will catch on :)

Cricket said...

Heh, heh. So Hubby feeds the crows, eh? That would do it. On the other hand, that's better than finding dead rodents in your gutters or something.

We once had a mouse that my wife was irritated that I refused to kill. I think a mouse gives a house a bit of character. ONE mouse, mind, not an infestation.

I admit, I probably would have fed him (I called him Jerry) but there was no need. He was mostly concerned with eating the soap. He preferred Ivory, and nibbled a bit from the bar every night.

Lydia Kang said...

Love this story! I like crows. They don't creep my out at all, never have. I think they're beautiful.

baygirl32 said...

those suckers ae huge! guess they're eating well lol

blueviolet said...

Your husband must be stopped! Crows are frightening birds and they could peck your eyes out in two seconds flat!

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

That is indeed a little creepy. My husband would be the opposite: out there with a BB gun!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I still say he's innocent!

Nat said...

Well, HOB certainly gives us all food for thought and laughter!
Not a big fan of crows...they can be quite macabre!

Aging Mommy said...

I wondered where you were going with this and then I got to the part where you discover HOB with a fist full of cat food. Then I started laughing and kept on laughing. Quite brilliant. "lined up like Starbucks customers in their business power suits.....placing their order to the busy crowista below." Brilliant line.

Ann said...

uh oh HOB is soooooooooo busted. It must be a man thing because my husband loves the crows too and makes a point of feeding them on his lunch break at work and then I have to hear all about them at night

Out on the prairie said...

So when you find him laying in the yard with his eyes pecked out, you know you need to add cat food to the shopping list. Perhaps when you pass out rocks to tricksters they will purge the problem. It is said crows bring you wisdom.

faye said...

Love this post...however now I will
whisper" the woman from the house
where the crows gather" whenever I see your Bossy Betty moniker....

Thanks for today's laugh..much needed!

Debbie said...

I just can't believe he was feeding them and not even telling you! You should feed him to the crows:)

Gigi said...

HOB!!!!!!

Loved this story!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Yikes! We have crows but no one is feeding them.. They're creepy and they poop everywhere.

Hope your husbands cuts you a break and stops!

The Retired One said...

the house where the crows gather....hahahaaa bwaaahahaaaaaa

A girl needs 2 Talk said...

HOB is doing what my Mother is doing!! :D :D

You might want to know- In India, it is an old tradition to feed crows. It is believed that our ancestors come down as crows to see if we still care for them. :)

citymouse said...

The Crow Whisperer... I love it.

I immediately thought about Edgar Allen Crow when I started reading this. I may have mentioned this when you first wrote about EAC, but one of my favorite bands, Guggenheim Grotto sings a song called The Wonderful Wizard and there's a lyric that talks about Edgar Allen Crow. It always amuses me.

I'm with you... I think a flock of crows taking up residence on my roof would pretty much freak me out.

Theresa Milstein said...

I wouldn't worry. The crows are doing your Halloween decorating for you.

What do you feed crows? I thought they were carnivore scavengers.

If you get a chance tomorrow, please stop by my blog. I'm hosting a Halloween Haunting!

Velvet Over Steel said...

LOL What a Great story (& story telling by the way)! I am still laughing!! Thank you, Betty!! :-)

I want to read a Part II and find out Why he is feeding them though?! Live Halloween decorations?? lol

~ Coreen

Dreamfarm Girl said...

I would never have guess where this one ended -- never heard of anyone feeding crows before. I have heard of making ONE crow your pet (they are apparently smart) but to take on a whole flock??

I am wondering what our house is known as (I'm pretty sure the neighbors aren't aware it's true name is Dreamfarm. We are probably Haunted House with Ragweed.

Hilary said...

I think HOB is wonderful. Crows are beautiful and very intelligent birds. See how they have your hubby trained? ;)

NENSA MOON said...

so the real culprit that led to the emergence of the crows on the roof was your HOB... HAHAHA..
but I think your HOB was so cool!
I love bird... including crow.

Love this story, BB!
thank you

nensa

Susan Deborah said...

"Everything is connected to everything else" says the first law of ecology. Need I say more?

Joy always,
Susan

Zuzana said...

This post made me smile.;) At least you got to know why the crows prefer your house to the others.;)
I actually like crows, they are mysterious and appealing and actually very intelligent birds. I love to watch them out of my office window and the appear almost enchanting to me.;))
xo

slommler said...

At least you found out why they are there! Ha! Made me laugh for sure! So he has been feeding them all along and not saying a word to you about it. Especially when you gave him every opportunity to do so!!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Catherine said...

LOL ~ that is funny! But I must say, I appreciate HOB. I buy rabbit food for the wild bush bunnies that live in the neighbourhood. :)

Happy Thursday Betty!
xo Catherine

Kazzy said...

If we are not feeding this cute homeless kitten wandering around our neighborhood, we certainly aren't feeding any crows!

floweringmama said...

Oh my gosh, that is just too funny! Crows?!? I snorted coffee out my nose reading your blog this morning I was laughing so hard!

Gigi said...

I love how you ended this story...it sounds like the start of a book.

All those birds would really creep me out!!!

Gaston Studio said...

LOL Betty, and just think, your neighbors could have been saying: "It's the Murder of Crows house" yep, they could.

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RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Unbelievable..Crows eat catfood? That's the makings of some award-winning Haiku, Betty!
xoRobyn

HulaBuns said...

HAHAHAHAHA!! This is sooo Binderclips, he would do the same thing to me and then be all "I have no idea why the crows are gathering on our roof" or "crows, what crows?" I think you should get HOB a shirt made that says "Crow Feeder" and make him wear it around the neighborhood. :D

Pat said...

I LOVE IT! At least HOB wasn't wearing a crow costume while throwing the cat food up on the roof. And why cat food? Your poor cat was probably wondering why he had to go up on the roof to get his dang food!

This is an old camping trick - throw bread up on your neighbor's roof so that in the morning all the birds will be pecking at their roof, eating up the bread. It's SO annoying!

Sarah said...

"BB gun" and "BBQ" that's all I'm going to say..

Pat Tillett said...

The man is an animal lover, that's all! seriously, we have HUNDREDS of crows fly over or near our house every afternoon on their way back to their roost at a local college. Needless to say there are a lot of crows around here. they are so darn SMART...

We also name the houses around us. It's too good to put in a comment, so I thank you for the inspiration for a blog post of my own. I will reference you, thanks!

Baby Sister said...

And here I thought I had commented on this one. Your HOB is a silly man. Crows are of the devil!!

Tracy said...

Oh, we have a couple of houses like that in our neighborhood. I usually try and avoid them. :-)

Lee said...

HOB is a man after my own heart- and so onery!! We have tons of crows around here, but they don't land on the house. However, I'd rather crows than buzzards.... Back in Pa. there are lots o fthem around. And when they've been cold, they'll perch ontop pf something tall (ie a house) and spread their wings to warm up. They look like death birds.

Shan said...

I had three thoughts about this:

1) There is one house in our neighborhood that I named a week or two ago... The Pigeon House (ugh! I'm not sure if I feel more strongly about the fact that they're pooping mostly on one roof this year or the fact that I see that roof every time I drive away from my house or go get the mail.

2)HOB reminds me a little of my father-in-law. Only for him it's squirrels. He has not only sat outside feeding them nuts for so many years that the mamas bring their babies to meet him, he has been known to rehab them. Herbert was the last one. Took him to the local Caribou Coffee all the time... until he got loose and ran around for a few minutes, ha!

3) I've got to be more timely in reading your posts. Scrolling down to the bottom of all the comments is liable to make me forget what I wanted to say.

:+)

Poetic Shutterbug said...

I feel as if I have just read Poe's The Raven again :) I'm sorry, I have to laugh. It wouldn't surprise me if Hollywood came calling. Seriously though, there are crows who hang out at ocean beach out here and I really do not like them. I've done things like actually cross to the other side of the highway if they are lurking around my path. Maybe I should start feeding them ?

Patti Lacy said...

You are such a great writer, Betty!
Hope the school kids appreciate having you for a teacher!!

Hmmm. When we moved to Illinois, I dubbed crows the state bird.


Another thing in common, Betty!
Blessings,
Patti

Cricket said...

Just stopping back by to congratulate you on your potw. Well done.

Gaston Studio said...

Congrats on POTW Betty!

gaelikaa said...

Oh I find them creepy too. I was attacked by one recently when hit me on the head from a long distance. I'm still not over the shock and it was months ago.

Congrats on your POTW mention. Well done.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Yes, at least you now know why they're there. At the lake, my husband feeds the ducks with dog food. Everytime I walk on the duck I'm bombarded with approaching quacks from hundreds of yards away. I'm looking for peace and they're looking for my husband.

Moannie said...

Glad to have found you, through the magic of Hilarys POTW, for which many congratulations.

My hub feeds the birds, but the are all innocous, Sparrows, Turtle Doves and one or two nasty looking Starlings. Makes 'em feel like hunter gatherers I suppose.
Love your blog, will be back to read further back.

Lori said...

Big flocks of black birds or crows have always creeped me out...might of had something to do with the Hitchcock movie, "The Birds" and some years later Stephen Kings," Crows". Great post...glad I came over from Hilary's...Congrats on POTW mention!

Don said...

I came over from Hilary's POTW.
Delightful crow story!

Tabor said...

Congrats on your POTW!! Fun read.

Land of shimp said...

That was hilarious! So deserving of a Post of the Week mention, Betty.

I think we are related through our husbands, by the way. But prepare yourself, I'm about to make you feel so much saner, and far less weird in the eyes of others.

Not only were we the neighborhood crow perch, sans cat food or any other understandable crow lure. They'd perch in our maple, and scare the crap out of temporary mail carriers, taking off as one when the mail came. Not only that, but the contractors who built the addition on our old house over-poured the cement for a patio. Leading to them shave off hunks of cement two feet by three feet each, both of them.

Which my husband pushed side-by-side underneath the crow infested maple, making it appear that we had people buried in the front yard of our Denver home.

We still own that house, but I did manage to convince my husband to move the grave markers for the tenants.

At one point I had to talk him out of scrawling names on them, just for fun.