About an hour ago, I was sitting at my desk and staring out the window, trying to make meaning of life by silently considering such questions as, "Why isn't my Facebook page showing up?" and "Will the sun shine again before May?" and "What Halloween candy is still in the bowl downstairs?" My deep thoughts were interrupted when a giant crow flew into the tree outside my window and startled me. It sat there, ruffling its wings, and then flew towards the back of the house. I then heard a great crow cacophony coming from the back yard. It sounded as if a thousand angry crows had gathered to plan an attack on an unsuspecting villager - like me, for example. I was afraid to look out the window because I worried they might stare right back at me if I did. So, I did what every brave soul does in times of danger - I sat at my desk and updated my Facebook status:
"The crows are out of control today - so loud. I think they are organizing and I am scared."
If I am ever in a grave situation, I do hope my last words will be more profound than those.
A few moments later, however, the crows disappeared and I was enveloped in an eery silence. I ran downstairs to ask Luisa if she'd heard the crows and found her sitting at her desk with headphones on. When she saw me, she took one ear bud out and looked at me expectantly.
"Did you hear all those crows in the back yard?!"
"I heard something. I thought it was a bunch of ducks."
Guess who's getting the Sibley Guide to Birds for her birthday?
"They were crows! Lots of them!"
She shrugged, put her ear bud back in and went back to work. I went back to my desk and noticed that a friend had asked on Facebook if I knew what a group of crows was called. I had a vague recollection that I'd looked it up before but couldn't remember so I turned to Google.
A MURDER OF CROWS!
I had obviously blocked that out.
Then, I did a little research about crows and learned a few things that I will share with you now...
1. Ravens and crows are in the same family but ravens are bigger. (I do not like this idea.)
2. I don't remember ever reading Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" in its entirety. (If I did, I forgot. I have read it now.)
3. About the phrase "eating crow" - 1) Crows are listed in Leviticus unfit for eating and 2) The earliest reference is in a story in the Saturday Evening Post in 1850 about a stupid farmer.
4. Crows are omnivores and, based on Google's autofill, I am not the only person to ask "Has a crow ever killed a person?"
5. Crows remember faces. (This is something I could have lived without knowing.)
6. Crows have regional dialects and conspire with one another. (Really, really do not like this.)
7. Male crows do not have penises. (I did not watch that mating video. Still too traumatized.)
8. Last but now least, crows will help you with NaBloPoMo. (Thanks, you freaky birds!)