Something Wicked This Way Comes

There'’s been a massive invasion of crows in the last few weeks. I’'ve seen them in alarming numbers in fields, on power lines, flying overhead in black waves - enough to make me wonder if Sauron hasn'’t hired a realtor and started checking out open houses in the area.

Don'’t get me wrong - I like crows. Their dapper attire, the cocky insouciance of their strut, the cunning intelligence that gleams in their eyes, the raucous joy of their cries - but driving home yesterday, I passed over a kilometer of phone lines festooned with glossy ebony birds. Allowing 6"” per bird (yes, I regularly mix metric and imperial measurements, so sue me), that'’s 6,666 crows (and how'’s that for an ominous number?). I'’ve seen several farmers’ fields a-swarm with black mobs and, last weekend, I drove under a cloud of shadowed wings stretching several miles across the sky.

They don'’t travel silently, either, do crows. They fill the air with their strident calls, like a rowdy Stanley Cup mob. They swoop and dive erratically, exuberantly, between the passing cars, or swagger imperiously along the shoulder. They exhibit a fearlessness out of all proportion to their size.

As I said, I
like crows ... but I don'’t trust them. I think they’'re plotting something.