Is This An Omen?

One day early in the Year, while weary of being housebound, I looked out the window to the North, that some outside energy might enter my dim heart. The snow-clad hillside across the creek shone so oppressively my eyeballs began to threaten to instigate a migraine.

But I had to squint through the glare to something sitting on a fence post down in the wash--a large bird. Another sat on the next post, both clear and dark silhouettes against the snow. However, while of similar size, these birds were not of a feather.

The first I had noticed was obviously a Hawk, it stood plumb and still, revealing its profile as it stared toward the other bird to its East. The latter was much darker, and its feathers stood out on top of its head and beneath its long, black beak; it sat hunched forward, and just barely looked like a bird at all (more like what--some long-billed ape?). It had to be a Raven.

They perched there, and I wondered at their unlikely conjunction here: a chance meeting? Did one mistake the other for its own kind? Then the Hawk shifted.

It made a leap into the air--and the Raven lunged toward the Hawk, who wheeled up and East, and stretched long wings to beat up into the air toward the higher hills. The Raven sprinted behind, occasionally getting close enough to dive, peck, or scratch at the Hawk, who artfully rolled, climbed, soared in a widening counterclockwise spiral: East, South, West, North.

The Raven broke off the chase as the Hawk faded off into the Northern Sky. The victor returned, and lighted this time on the post previously occupied by the Hawk. Now I could hear it croak, as though it were genuinely laughing. It lept up, wheeled in the air, and dropped out of site behind snow-blanketed brush. The black hulk re-emerged, lighted on the fence post, and bent to peck and stretch something from its talons.

I never did trudge down through the snow to find out what poor creature's carcass those two were contending over. This was many days ago, and the coyotes would have carried off the rest by now.

And it's snowing again.
rattleschains rattleschains
41-45, M
Jan 11, 2013