Sunday, February 12, 2006

Blood on the Pavers

There is blood on the pavers just outside of our family room entrance. And feathers - a few held in place by the congealed red liquid, a lot more blown by the wind onto the driveway and surrounding grass areas. But there are no body parts anywhere to be seen. And we've looked - not like CSI agents with flashlights in darkened conditions, but we have searched pretty carefully, in full daylight.

Using my best television-learned forensic jargon I noted that the victim had "bled out" on our walkway and apparently "died of exsanguination". Mars took pictures but unfortunately her digital camera doesn't make that great "whock! whock! whock!" sound like on tv, and it was too cold for her to wear a low-cut blouse so I don't think that the photographic evidence will hold up in court.

Nonetheless we've got ourselves a crime scene right here in our own front yard.

Personally I think there is a serial killer operating in our neighborhood. Once again my only source of knowledge on this is the mass media - I have no personal experience, which from my perspective is a good thing - and I've heard that mass murderers frequently perform their dastardly deeds over a long period of time - rather than bam, bam, bam (if you'll pardon the expression). And over the years we have seen the signs of several similar snuffings.

One winter we found a decapitated blue jay stuck head-down (well actually neck down) in a snow bank in our front yard. And there have been at least four other instances of carnage on our property - piles of feathers, a bone or two, occasionally an intact severed wing.

We've also seen a few likely suspects skulking in our neighborhood with both "motive and opportunity" (see I really do know all this stuff).

Predatory hawks have actually landed on our property, sometimes in the flowering crab tree outside our family room, other times on the fence behind it, and rotated their heads and death-dealing eyes searchingly. One time a shivering squirrel hid nervously in the pottery birdseed cylinder that hung about twelve inches below the falcon's fatal feet. Another time our former next-door neighbor called to alert us to a "NOVA moment" involving a young looking hawk and a dead looking pigeon that was happening in her snow covered backyard.

Coyote and foxes have prowled the streets, sidewalks and bike path around our house - heads turning side-to-side as they trot arrogantly among the residences. Their appearances have become more frequent in the past few years leading us to believe that they are probably finding something that they like in our neck of the woods.

Which brings us of course to cats - which, in my mind, are both the main reason that these carnivores are hanging around, and the most likely suspects in the series of bird homicides.

And when they finally arrest that guilty fatal feline I'm definitely NOT going to be the one on local news saying "Who'd have thought? He was a good neighbor and he seemed like such a nice normal guy." I mean, what do you expect?

As for the one eye witnessed hawk attack - I think it was just a copycat crime.

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