The Bird

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I am sorry I killed you. But your constant screaming and yelling—you and your friends—every morning from sunrise until I leave for work finally got to me. I didn't mean to actually shoot you, just scare you. I figured the blast of the gun would send you and your nine pals (I counted—every morning, the 10 of you) into the morning sky in search of more peaceful nesting places. I took uncareful aim with my childhood .22, fired—and hit you. You fell like a rag to the ground, landing in a black heap at the foot of the tree in my yard. I ran to your side . . . for what? To see if crows play possum? You were stone-cold dead. The bullet had practically taken off your head—a feat I could not have accomplished if I had tried. And then the screaming started. Real, diabolical, Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds screaming. Your friends yelled and cried and carried on like mourners at a West Bank funeral. I'd never seen anything like it. And when a couple of your pals lifted off from the topmost branches and wheeled down for a closer look, I took off running for the back door. I showered, shaved, dressed and checked the back yard: you were still there; your friends were still crying. I left for work accompanied by their wailing. That night? Same thing. And all night, and all through the next day, and even as I write this, two days later. I am headed into the back yard now to bury you at the foot of the tree. Please, crow: do whatever you must to get your friends to leave me alone while I do the job. And please rest in peace. May I do the same.

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