Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Skirmish, or Redirected Aggression


This morning's viewing from my hot tub was ... instructive. Instructive of "what" exactly I will leave up to you.

A seagull rose from the field behind my house, with a crow two feet from his tail. Higher and higher, in tight spirals with an occasional swoop to one side or the other, they seemed attached by a string. The crow was cawing and making a lot of noise; the gull was flapping his wings like mad, flying for his life. After perhaps three minutes, the crow seemed to shrug and flew straight away to the south.

Gull continued in tight spirals up another hundred feet or so. He seemed tired though, always flap flap flap flapping with none of the graceful soaring swoops that one expects from a gull. Then he faltered, stalled, fell a foot or two and soared down to gather speed. And it was flap flap flap flap back into the spiral and up higher than before. The falter, stall, swoop, flap flap flap flap was repeated three or four more times.

Meanwhile, more gulls were coming into the field. When there were about ten of them, either on the ground or playing in the ten feet of air above it, gull started slowly circling down to join them. As he was about thirty feet off the ground, another (probably) crow flew in from the north; all nonchalant, with something dangling from his beak, probably headed for a safe tree to enjoy his snack. Gull flew at him like a raging Fury and the crow took off due east, straight as an arrow, into the trees where gull finally left off the chase.

Having assuaged his honor and recovered his dignity, gull gracefully joined his cohorts and landed on the field.

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So ... why did I assign male gender to these protagonists? Hmmm?

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