A.V. Walters


(from June 2008)

Elmer is killing crows. I heard the first blast early this morning and wondered if that might be the case. It was confirmed when, minutes later, the phone rang and Elmer said, “Humans 1, crows 0.” I laughed and he hung up. A while later, another report but no call. Not too surprising, given Elmer’s reputation as a marksman.

This is my doing. Yesterday, Elmer, Dorothy and I were discussing the garden and I complained about the crows eating my sprouting beans. Had they just made off with them, I wouldn’t have been so offended. What they’re doing though, is pulling them up, eating the bean parts and then tossing the ravaged seedling back on the soil. We get to count the victims. Elmer laughed and said he’d noticed that the crows had relocated from the crow tree on the dairy, over to his birches. They’re a noisy lot, so when their pattern changes, we notice. We discussed the possibility of a scarecrow, which didn’t impress Elmer. I suggested we make one out of Don’s clothes and give it a coffee cup before he gets back from Oregon, so as to offend both the crows and Don. Elmer liked that. Elmer said with crows you had to teach them a lesson, to which I only laughed.

Later there was another blast, and another call. Our score (Humans) is improving. I asked Elmer whether I was supposed to dress in black for the burial. He laughed and said no, we needed to leave the crow corpse out in the garden, to teach the lesson. I asked if he was making stew tonight and he really laughed. Elmer loves to walk into a straight line, “No, I try not to eat crow.”

It’s been funny, we’ll see if there’s any learning going on here. In any event, I’ll be more careful now about complaining about the neighbors.