Thursday, March 10, 2016

hawk reads the menu

At first I thought perhaps it was just one of those health glitches that insert themselves into the new normal of getting older. I was reading the paper on the porch when, in my peripheral vision, a shadow passed ... once, twice, three times. Maybe it was just a leaf on the warm breeze of the day.

But when it happened yet again, I stood up, opened the porch door and scanned the skies. And there, across the street, perched in a tree with an elegance of the Taj Mahal, was a red-tailed hawk. S/he took off, even as I looked, and proceeded to do a low-altitude cruise up and down my block. S/he was perhaps 10 feet above the roof tops, which is to say, something higher than 60 feet. Usually, the neighborhood hawks fly much higher over the nearby corn fields. What was it s/he was scouting at such a low level? "Lunch" was my bet, but what lunch?

And then I saw them at the end of the street -- the chickens of Valley Street. They were clustered together, three or four of them, and were pecking absently on a bit of lawn.  Would the hawk even challenge a chicken? A rat or mouse or mole is a manageable meal, but a chicken?

Slowly, the B-52 that was the hawk swam up and down the street. The chickens pecked in apparent unawareness. The hawk was beautiful and grand. The chickens are a constituency that helps to make my street a wonderful venue. Would the innocent fall victim to the hungry? The story line gained steam in my mind.

And then I had to run an errand and left the scene behind. When I returned, I looked at where the ladies of Valley Street had convened. There was no blood. There were no feathers. And the ambling chickens were no longer in place.

Gone too was the power and glory of the hawk.

Ah well ... another day, perhaps, and the story may finally write itself.

In the meantime, I am pleased to live in dramatic times.

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