Saturday, April 29, 2006
My truck was parked at the base of one those concrete poles that support the lights about thirty feet off the ground for the parking lot. When I returned from the store, my first reaction was that I had walked into the wrong row. That wasn't the case.
....My truck, a '98 Sonoma has a maroon metal-flake painted body with white pin-striping on the sides. For a moment, there didn't seem to be a truck there matching that description.
I've never seen an eagle in these parts. Everett, Massachusetts has a population of about fifty thousand, and there is no wilderness to speak of for a hundred miles in any direction.
....It appeared however, that such a bird might have been in the area. Said bird had a serious case of diarrhea, and was unable to make it to the nearest avian restroom. If it wasn't a single large bird, then it was a whole flock of some smaller feathered bastards.
....Now, I happen to know for a fact that cattle have yet learned to take flight. With the possible exception of the Far Side cartoons, I can honestly say that cattle do not have wings. The cow that jumped over the moon at least had flight clearance from Mother Goose.
....In any event, the deposits that been so deftly decoupaged onto my truck rivaled anything a flying bovine might have left behind. How fortuitous, I thought, for the owners of the two vehicles parked on either side of me. Both the Taurus and the Corolla were unscathed. I surmised that the assailant had an affinity for General Motors products.
....Someone not familiar with my truck and its condition when I first parked in that spot, might have thought that it was a white truck with large splotches of maroon paint splattered onto it. For some reason, looking at my truck between the other two cars, I pictured three stalls in a public restroom. With the other two stalls in use, no one would dare to enter, much less use the middle one.
Atop a light post at the other end of the parking lot, were a half dozen crows or ravens perched upon the light fixtures. I was certain that I had found the culprits! They were animated, as if they were conversing with one another. Perhaps somewhere nearby, cameras were running while one of those Windex commercials was being filmed.
....I wonder if birds can recognize each other's guano? If so, perhaps their malicious droppings are an act of "tagging," not unlike those graffiti artists who leave their signatures on trains and walls.
...."Hey, Jack! Check out out that maroon truck over yonder!"
...."I saw it, Pete. I knew in a minute that was your handy work. I said to myself, 'Only Pete could decorate a whole truck like that!"
...."Heh, heh. Well, thanks. That's mighty kind of you. You're no slouch yourself, I saw that new limousine you got over on Broadway."
...."You liked that, did you? Doesn't our art look good on a black background?"
...."By the way, Pete, what in the hell did you have for lunch anyway? Taco Bell™?"
...."Nooooo! I dined at the trash cans behind that new Thai restaurant on Elm! That stuff gives you just the right consistency."
All of a sudden, the lot of them were airborne, scattering in different directions at once. A dark shape in the corner of my eye caught my attention. As I turned, a large bird dove past the perch where they had been roosting. Almost too fast for to me to focus, it grabbed a hapless bird in mid-flight with its talons. Behind its path a flurry of feathers could be seen floating to the ground.
....They predatory bird, its prey clutched in its claws, landed on a strip of grass at the edge of the parking lot about fifty yards from where I stood. I realized that it wasn't much larger than its catch. It was definite that no eagle had landed. It was a either a hawk or a peregrine falcon. Like a doctor performing an amputation, it surgically removed the legs and beak of the victim. Then it took to the air, its prize locked in its talons, no doubt off to a nest somewhere and its waiting mate.
I wonder which of the six it had caught. Would Jack ever get a chance to try out that Thai restaurant? Would he get another shot at a limousine? And what of Pete? Was justice served before my eyes?
Curmudgeon responsible for this post: Hale McKay at 12:25 AM