Illustration by Jan Igoe
I don’t know about you, but I’m deeply concerned about the growing likelihood of getting mugged by a crow. Just when I’d almost convinced myself that Hitchcock was kidding, those stealth birds are back on the police blotter.
In Canada, people have reported unprovoked attacks by kamikaze crows. (You might think the birds were just defending their young, but none of their victims was climbing up trees to grab an omelet.) Experts have been advising pedestrians to take detours—through Utah, if possible—to avoid them. They also want you to carry an umbrella.
What’s with the umbrella, you ask? Well, they don’t specify whether to wield it wide open, like a Viking shield, or closed, to bat the crows into the outfield. Either way, the crow will remember. And this particular bird’s brain holds a grudge the way a gorilla grips a coconut.
More advice: Crows can recognize human faces, so you don’t want to tick them off. (This morsel comes to us from the same experts who just had you bashing them featherless with assault umbrellas.) Decide carefully, because crows remember who was naughty or nice to them and immediately warn their friends on Instagram.
It’s no coincidence that a gang of crows is known as a “murder.” More than 750 attacks have already been mapped in Canada, and you know where those snowbirds flock for winter. The last thing we need is dive-bombing murderers messing up tourism. We’ve already got squirrels.
Yes, local squirrels have it in for us, too. It might sound funny, but trust me, it’s not. One of those lovable little acorn snatchers sent three bloody North Myrtle Beach residents to the emergency room in May. This particular squirrel started attacking innocent people who had no criminal records or history of nut stealing. The beast might have been acting on its own, or it could be part of vast rodent conspiracy that’s gaining momentum as we speak. (Attacks have been reported in California, where you’d expect squirrels to follow the nuts, but there have been others.) For all we know, they might be in collusion with the crows.
And the squirrels aren’t dumb. They’ve grown weary of taking us out one by one and realized their greatest power lies in disabling ours—our power grid, that is. Thousands of South Carolinians have lost power to suicidal squirrels through the years. As the magazine of this state’s electric cooperatives, we don’t much like that.
So when the crows get here, I’m thinking we’ll hire them to guard the power lines. Crows have been known to dine on small squirrels, so as deterrents go, this should help. That will keep the birds busy until breeding season, when we’ll send them back to Canada. And if the squirrels aren’t happy about it, they can go, too.
Quid pro crow, baby.
JAN IGOE won’t pick a fight with wildlife, even though she has an umbrella that would put Mary Poppins’ rig to shame. Write her at HumorMe@SCLiving.coop.