Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Crow Holidays

We are vacationing on uber-beautiful Vancouver Island. We are fortunate in that our middle son lives here, so it is a destination. And also a reunion.
We are camping. But camping deluxe, with a four-star bathroom. Granite counters, framed mirrors, slate floors. The works.
My own bathroom isn’t this nice. (We’re seniors, so the bathrooms are important to us. Both in proximity and in cleanliness.)
Moving on . . .
But still, we are camping, with all of the pitfalls and challenges that entails.
Such as the weather.
Today, I am sitting in our tent, listening to a much-needed rain hitting the canvas over my head.
Needed, that is, by everyone on the Island.
Except the tourists.
But some things are going on as normal.
And so we get to the point of this story . . .
We are surrounded by years-old trees here.
Many years old.
They are tall. And plentiful. And lush. And the personal home/gathering spot for the area’s crows.
Crows, as you probably know, are noisy.
Especially early in the morning.
Today, we were blessed that their morning meeting was on the far side of the campground, only faintly discernible to us near the bathrooms. (Seniors. Bathrooms. Important. See above.)
I feel for those people.
Not.
It was our turn yesterday and now they can take theirs. Ha!
As I was lying in my cozy -50 sleeping bag, listening to the morning chorus, I began to wonder exactly what the conversation entailed.
Here is my take:
Alphonse: “Okay, is everyone here? Reggie! Where is Reggie?”
Beatrice: “He’s feeding the babies, Alphonse. They woke him and Myrtle up and she’s got a headache and their sitter cancelled so he’s doing double duty today.”
Alphonse: “Okay, well, we’ll excuse him. Is everyone else here?”
Jerrold: “Greta said she’d be a bit late. Some errand she had to run.”
Alphonse: Sighing. “People! Need I remind you how important our job is? If we don’t have everyone here, we can’t work properly and things get missed!”
A chorus of: “We know.” “Yes, boss” “Sorry!”
Alphonse: “All right. Let’s get to work.” Looks everyone over. “Peter and Elaine. You take the north east quadrant.”
Peter: “But we were there yesterday! Some kids threw things at us!”
Alphonse (unmoved): “Part of the job, Peter. You knew that when you signed on.”
Peter (mumbling): “I hate this job!”
Alphonse: “What?”
Peter: “Nothing.”
Alphonse: “Becky and Beatrice? Northwest. And good work yesterday, by the way!”
Beatrice: “Becky just had a great idea and we went with it.”
Alphonse: “Well, it was effective. Do it again.”
Beatrice: “Gladly!”
Alphonse: “Jerrold? Mikey? Sue? Debbie? I want the four of you to cover both the southeast and southwest. Mix it up. Keep them guessing.”
Jerrold: “I think I can speak for all of us, Boss. Happy to.”
Alphonse: “The rest of you, I’m sending you to the center of the campground. It seems to be especially effective when you gather on the climbing frame in the middle of the playground. Something about some movie the humans had a few years ago.”
Mary: “They seem especially affected when we sit there silently and just watch them.”
Alphonse: “Okay, well, I guess that’s all right. Not our usual, but we’re adaptable. Just don’t completely neglect our signature loud-and-noisy.” Raises voice. “Okay, people! You know your job! And if we can manage to chase another group of humans off, it’s all to the good. Think like Becky and Beatrice. A little poop in a few strategic locations in addition to the squawking seems to work miracles. Have a great day!”

I’m fairly certain this is how it goes. Every. Single. Morning.
Sigh.

15 comments:

  1. They've got a plan and they're working it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. ... and hilariously, I might add :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Jenny! You've heard them, I'm sure.

      Delete
  3. It sounds about right - but you forgot to add 'and if you see anything bright and shiny, TAKE IT (and bring it back to me). Yes Boss.'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I totally did! Next incarnation . . .

      Delete
  4. I need luxury camping. When I was young, all I needed was a tent and a sleeping bad. Now - well, it's been many years. I just don't want to tick off the crows. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking by it. (And was to Vancouver, in 1988, but never made it to Vancouver Island).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember my 'rubber' years. When all I needed was a sleeping bag and a tent and the hard old ground. Now? Yikes! It'd take four strong men to get me up off said ground.
      Yeah, crows get ticked off really easily. Sigh.
      Do come back. the island is fantastic!

      Delete
  5. Luxury camping...sounds fun, except for the birds!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Of course, it's their job. Just poop proof everything with covers that can be hosed off and enjoy the birds. I love crows and ravens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And they do it so well! You are amazing. I need your voice in my head instead of theirs at 5:00 in the morning!

      Delete

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