Monday, October 05, 2009

Something to Crow About

I am a peaceful, non-killing machine type of girl.

I didn't grow up in a house of hunters and never laid eyes on a real, honest to goodness gun outside of a museum until I was 18 - at which point my now husband/then boyfriend took me to a gravel pit to target shoot and the first thing I did was aim the loaded gun right at him.

Right. At. Him.

Not on purpose.

Yes, it's safe to say that I had no idea about guns until that very moment.

From then on, my education began. Brett told me stories of hunting trips he'd taken with his dad as a young boy. He explained what happened to the deer after you actually shot it (as I tried to keep my lunch from coming back up), and how he was always taught gun safety and respect, from a very early age. But most of all, he shared what the experience was like - the patient waiting, the careful, quiet walking and the bonding that happened on these weekend trips. Irreplaceable memories.

The next time I ever gave any thought to firearms was on my wedding day. You see, having grown up in a hunting family, my husband carried with him several hunting rifles - guns that had been passed down from generation to generation, hand to hand, man to man. These were pieces that he hoped he would be able to pass along to our children someday. So we had to strike a compromise, a deal so to speak, on how we would keep these family heirlooms safe from our children while preserving them for the future.

And a gun safe was born.

And I have thought little about what is inside that safe, until now.

There has been talk of a "crazy crow" among my children for weeks. It all started at the bus stop when this beast of a bird began pecking at the neighbor girls tights (apparently it liked her brightly colored legs). Then, at football practice one night, a crow was observed bouncing from car to car full of people, trying to make it's way into open windows - all while people were coming and going.

My oldest son said a crow had been terrorizing his school, coming in through open doors and stealing pencils right off of students desks! His friend had a bike helmet pecked to pieces while it was hanging off his handle bars at the school bike rack and it was clear that this crow was becoming quite a nuisance.

Last week my friend and her children came over for lunch. The weather was nice and dry enough that the kids wanted to play outside, in the backyard, on our big playset. "Of course!" we told them, "Soak up as much sun as you can." Little did we know that they would be joined by a crow - who tried repeatedly to get uncomfortably close to them. The dog did his best to protect our kids, but the crow didn't care. I yelled at it and threw rocks, but the crow didn't care.

And today is the last straw.

Today while my 5 year old daughter was walking in our driveway, minding her own business, that damn crow swooped down onto her head and began pecking at her! I was on the front porch, taking care of my geraniums and looked up just in time to see it peck and retreat, knocking her to the ground. I'm not sure whose screams were louder...hers or mine. I never felt so angry towards another living thing in all my life.

My baby - my baby! Pecking at my baby! If I had access to that gun safe (or even knew where the keys to it were or how to load one of those antique rifles) there's no telling what would have happened. Instead I gathered up my crying child, ran towards that bird and tried to scare it away as best as I could.

Katie is fine, some neosporin on her hands and many kisses seem to have done the trick, but I am beyond angry. I've left messages with city and police officials. I've read the states fish and wildlife website ten times over. This crow isn't protecting a nest and we certainly aren't feeding it, but I suspect someone is. And the fact that crows are some of the most intelligent birds of prey out there and can remember faces is not comforting to me, not at all.

Katie is fine, but she's afraid of the birds now.

And I'm afraid of what I might do if this happens again. The mama bear inside of me is not pleased with crow at this moment. While I am not going to get all Rambo in my neighborhood, I just might invest in a good sling shot.


kyslp said...

I'm not a gun person but could have easily gone Rambo on that crow. Pecking at your baby - that's terrible. I would be totally freaked out and I'm an adult. Poor kid.

Michelle said...

That is really FREAKY. I was totally disturbed as a child seeing The Birds... I can't even imagine it in real life! I would totally shoot that bird and I am not a gun lover at all.

to sing and to dance said...

(had to repost to the correct comment section....hate that when that happens!)

No need to be afraid till you notice the school teacher running down hill, out of the old school house, and past the community church, to take refuge with the young children inside a house. Be sure she locks down all the windows though....And LEARN from Hitchcock! BOARD-UP THE FIREPLACE FLU!!! And when they finally make their escape, don't run.....walk, that works every time I watch The Birds.
hehe maybe now is not the time to rent that old film for your children's viewing pleasure.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

You know what is funny? I hate guns but I am BY FAR the best shot in our household on the Wii shooting games. LIKE SCARY. Like I freak my husband out. Like that crow should be glad I couldn't get into the gun safe either.

Kyla said...

My husband would like your husband. The first thing he asks me about my friends' spouses is, "Does he hunt?" Boys!

Maybe you could make your windows extra clean and the bird would off himself, know what I'm saying? LOL.

wyliekat said...

I don't even know what would cause a bird to behave that way. Was it tamed? Is it brain damaged? Both?

Lisa said...

Crazy crow indeed. That is so wierd. Good to hear she's ok. That would scare the poo out of me too!

Kendra said...

We're a definite anti-gun family, no weapons other than kitchen knives in the house. But I don't know what I would have done in that situation! Thrown rocks at it? (And almost certainly hurt myself and/or a window in the process?)

Kyla's comment made me laugh, since we are constantly dealing with birds screaming into the picture window. No crows, though. Just dumb little birds, dead a few times, but usually just stunned. They seem to learn after the one injury. I hope the evil crow learns and stays away now!