The day that the fourth raven died. Kerry pushed onward:
I procured a 3′ long bullsnake that a friend had bravely bludgeoned with a 2 x 4 yesterday. I opened its belly and wove the whole schlange into the top of the chainlink fence with the two bravest ravens watching intently. . . and before I had made it to the road, they were both up there pecking, and seemed excited. One grabbed some intestine and flew down to the gravel roadway with it; the other joined him and the two of them danced around it like it was some great exotic delicacy. So there’s hope for them as ravens. . . of course, if the smell of day-old dead snake in 90º weather hasn’t faded out of the Prius by tomorrow morning when we go to Flag, there may be no hope for me. Hang in there, I’ll see what I can do tomorrow once we get back from Flagstaff.
Kudos to Kerry for doing the snake. Although our house now resembles some charnal house with heads on pikes, etc.
Our wonderful house sitter is none too happy with it, though. She’s worried that it’ll begin to stink and will attract flies and that the neighbors will go ballistic. The whole thing is horrifying. She asks to take the snake down and give it a respectful burial. She also wants to take the remaining ravens up to the Cultural Center and leave them there where they can pick through trash.
Which summons a whole range of thoughts.
- What’s more horrifying: a rotting dead serpent woven into our fence or a overweight man bludgeoning a harmless bull snake to death with a two by four?
- Why do we pay respect to things once they’re dead and not when they’re still living? Living things (be they spouses or snakes) are messy and involved tangled relationships. Dead things are simple. They’re dead.
- Ravens are not solitary dumb birds. They live in family groups and have extended relations. This family group has been living at the confluence of the Wepo and Polacca washes for a while now. A Hopi can’t live apart from Hopi. A Hopi outside of the clan and village and this particular spot of land is nothing. They exist in groups. To an extent, the same holds true of ravens. To send them up to Second Mesa, we might as well ship them to Siberia. Furthermore, they’re adolescents yet and a huge amount of learning is to be had, ideally through the parents.
But our poor house sitter. She (along with the rest of the neighborhood) are under the impression we want to keep them as pets. Time for a massive media campaign. Perhaps through a blog or something.