My darling wife woke me from a deep sleep with the following words; “There is a dead crow on the front stoop.”
How does one respond to that? As a male of the species I can wake quickly to only a few possible situations:
- “Wake up you hunky stud…”
- “Lock and load, the zombie apocalypse is upon us!”
Nothing else computes. A dead crow? Whiskey tango foxtrot? Who am I? What’s a crow? Coffee…does anybody have coffee?
After a few minutes I managed to coax a pulse from my sleep addled body and stood up. Then I thought; if it’s dead what’s the problem? I went back to sleep.
A couple hours later I’d forgotten all about the crow. I had a cup of coffee in my hand and was heading out the door. Surprisingly there was a crow on the stoop. Who’d a thunk it?
The crow wasn’t dead. He was laying on his side with a dazed look in his eye. Like a partied out hungover youth trying to hold on to the table at Denny’s at 5:00 am. (Don’t ask how I know this but everyone in Denny’s at 5:00 am is either drunk or recovering.) Thank God I didn’t have my massive dog with me because the crow would have been gobbled up like jellybeans on Halloween.
I eyed the crow, “You’re supposed to be dead.”
“Caw?” said the crow.
“Get up dude. We’ve got cats. And dogs. And I’m pretty nasty too.”
“Caw? said the crow.
“I’ll stuff you and sell you on e-bay.”
“Caw?!?” said the crow.
It was a great conversation but me and my coffee left. I had work to do. An hour later the coffee was gone. I wandered to the house for more coffee. The crow was standing.
“You’re standing” I said.
“Caw!” said the crow.
“Now fly away.”
“Caw?” said the crow.
“Fly or I’ll paint you blue, put you in a box, and mail you to Uganda.”
“Caw!!!” said the crow. Apparently this agitated him.
Then, and I’m not making this up, the crow looked me right in the eye and shit on my porch!
“What the hell?” I swear it was a malevolent act.
“Caw!” Said the crow proudly. He ruffled his feathers a bit.
“I wasn’t really going to mail you to Uganda…” I began.
“Caw! Caw!” The crow eyed me aggressively. He seemed pleased with himself.
“So that’s how you want to play!” I rumbled.
“Caw! Caw! Caw!” Said the crow.
“Alright! I’m going inside to top off this coffee mug. Then I’m coming out to stomp your little ass into dust. Yah hear that!?!”
“Caw! Caw! Caw! Caw!” Said the crow.
He still wasn’t flying. I stepped over him and went for the coffee. Five minutes later I came out with coffee in one hand and a coal shovel in the other.
The crow was gone. I glanced around. No cats. Whew!
I guess the little guy flew off. I was pretty happy about that. I like to see things thrive.
Then I realized I still had a shovel in my hand and maybe that made me look a little less congenial than Mother Teresa. OK fine, I was going to pound him into the avian afterlife, but in my defense he had it coming. A peaceful retreat on his part was probably a better solution for both of us.
I sipped my coffee and reflected on my day; less eventful for me than the crow. I put the shovel back, poured a third cup of coffee (which is about the moment I’m a civil human being) and wondered what I could learn from this.
“This is why door to door salesmen don’t come to my house twice.” I thought. “Yep. That’s probably the reason.”
My dog ambled up and leaned on me (she weighs a ton). She looked up as if to say “have you been scaring people again? That’s my job.”
The dog is right. I’ve got to learn to delegate. It’s all about delegation. That’s definitely the lesson of the crow.