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Archive for October, 2007

Poor Bobby – we live in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, and although crows do not have hyper olfactory senses, they know when there is danger and it is time to leave. Usually this is due to their ultra intense sight, and the fact that they travel in a group, called a Murder, not a flock.

Shows how scared people are of them – well, Alfred Hitchcock did not help matters now, did he?

All of the animals have been jumpy, but Bobby is going a bit out of his mind. It is hard to deal with the fact that he cannot fly, he senses danger and cannot get away from it the way he was built to protect himself. This time he is not acting like a fun loving drunk three year old, he is freaking out. His adrenaline must be racing, because he does not want attention, I have tried. He wants to rip up paper and pound and tear on his condo, and i have run out of ideas.

I sat on the desk and told him we were all on edge, told him I understood what it felt like to be trapped, promised him I would keep him safe, just talked and talked to him. That worked, as long as I did not leave the room.

I had to go and work with Tomas on music issues, then had to drive east towards the 5 freeway to buy pet food, as we were completely out because we were waiting on a check, which arrived today. Driving east is driving towards the fire areas, and the sky is that horrible sickly shade of yellow, with grey ash haze at eye level.

When I returned, Bobby had gotten down and torn up all of his fresh papers, thrown sticks and rocks out of the empty planter he uses to maneuver his way down, and had gone over to the vitamins on the counter, zero-ing in on the Jarrow brand acidophilus capsules. He was not having fun, he destroyed them.
The only upside is he has a lot of good bacteria in his system today. Hopefully it will counteract the time he managed to open Tomas’s prescription for antibiotics and stab one of the capsules to death. I admonished him that Tomas was the one in the house with a toothache, and the pills did nothing for a bothersome beak. He ignored me.

I tried to take him in my room, he did not want to go. He made sounds that were human in their sadness and fear, while pacing around, first snapping at my hand, then putting his head down apologetically. He was acting like I do when I am PMS’ing. If a crow could burst into tears, he would have.

If I had not had to go get them something to eat, I would have stayed with him and talked until my voice gave out.

I cleaned everything up, then sat and told him that I was terribly sad also, that I was in emotional turmoil concerning my few blood relatives, but we had to do our best and hang tough, trust each other, and try not to let fear and anger cause us to destroy things.

I hope I can take my own good advice.

It is dark now, and Bobby has settled down, he is dozing in his corner. I envy him that darkness brings him peace.

To all of the fire victims out there –

A crow and his mom are, in their own way, praying for you all.

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The Bird is BORED

Before I continue the saga of chasing and ultimately catching Bobby, today I have to say, it was made very clear to me that he was bored, and I couldn’t bribe him with toys or food. He is in the dining room, and I am back in my office, and he is hollering. He hollers at dawn every morning, but that is just to inform us that it is time to wake up. Over the years it has become part of the dreams at the bottom of the sleep cycle. I have a background soundtrack of a crow in my morning dreams, every morning.

But he mellows out once we are up, and usually keeps himself very busy, and I go along my business knowing he is a self sufficient little soul.

If I do this for two days in a row, Bobby starts letting me know that I am neglecting him, and he is about to call 1-800-for-a-bird and report me.

If I still do not pay attention, he will climb down from his condo and walk across the stove and start throwing vitamins, pens, anything in his path. He will attack the bowl of garlic and onions, stabbing holes in them then tossing them onto the floor. He will snatch a corner of the paper towels and roar back up onto his perch, effectively tee-peeing the sink and stove area.

SO – since I am not in the mood to do more cleaning than necessary, I brought him back into the office with me, where he hops around and waits for me to crook my finger at him and say “juh-guh boy” which means, in our human to crow language, “I will pet your head if you come here”.

Problem is, it is so much fun that I stop working on music timing notes and start playing with him.

We shall get back to how this all came about next time. Today, the bird was bored, and my job was to wear him out so he would take a nap and let me work in peace.

See? Not a whole lot different than a three year old child.

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About six years ago, my husband, Indie film composer Tomas Hradcky (He went by Tomas Hart back then) and I were stuck in five o’ clock traffic in Santa Monica, hot and hungry and tired and inching along so slowly that at one point I closed my eyes and imagined the future, right on 26th and Arizona Ave, looking just the same, except with all of the cars hosting mummified corpses a la Stephen King’s “The Stand”. We were just trying to get to Quizno’s, the entrance to the parking lot was a mere ten feet away, but we were going to die of hunger before we got there. (Los Angelinos, you KNOW I am not exaggerating).

Out of the corner of my right eye, as I was sliding down towards an ugly death, I noticed a crow on the ground, rummaging about in an overturned garbage bin, then stalking away, his left wing dragging at an unnatural angle.

I had once tried to catch and help a hurt crow – their wing(s) might be hurt, but their Lance Armstrong legs are formidable. I was alone when I tried to catch the first one, and he could outrun Jackie-Joyner-runner-lady.

(No, I do not watch sports, shut up).

He was dashing across very busy Venice Boulevard, and nearly got hit twice. I gave up, with great regret. I was just making the situation worse.

So, when I saw this Santa Monica boy, I just felt sad and helpless and didn’t say anything.

Tomas piped up.

“Did you see that poor guy? We should – ”

I shook my head, explaining that it was impossible.

“But there’s two of us,” my normally worst-case-scenario husband said hopefully.

All the while Mr. Hurt Crow was marching west down Arizona Ave., away from us.

“Any ideas about how to get out of this mess and down to Santa Monica Boulevard, make a right, then another right, to come up Arizona, and do you really think he is just going to be walking down the street?”

Tomas’s eyebrows lowered, but strangely, not at me.

“Yes, I do,” he said, teeth gritting.

Before I could make another tired, semi-sarcastic remark, we were driving on the sidewalk.

My always-on-his-best-behavior-driver husband was on a mission. His quiet insanity had finally exploded.

I figured it was best to keep my mouth shut for a change and see what was going to happen.

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