Sunday, December 18, 2005

A flash of red on my street, and I don't mean a Liberal canvasser

Everyone is blogging these days, and everyone is trying to be Scott Feschuk -- who might actually end up winning more votes for the Liberals than any of the politicos.

This is from the Globe and Mail's editorial board:

Sean Fine, 8:19 p.m. I'm still trying to figure out why Layton stresses getting results for PEOPLE. Are the rest of them working for plants and animals?

Marcus Gee, 8:19 p.m. Layton's clearly discriminating against plants and animals.

This morning the pileated woodpecker from the Montfort Woods briefly visited the maple tree in front of my house, and you have to understand that I'm saying this like you might say "Today I saw Gandalf the Grey purchasing an apple pie at Loblaw's". I've been hearing the woodpecker in the woods for two or three years, but I only sighted him once, on the wing in slanted early-evening sunlight, the red crest impossible to mistake for anything else. Maybe the pickings are slim in the woods this winter, or maybe the muffled snow-covered streets don't seem quite as dangerous on a Sunday morning, but I looked out my living room window and there he was, squaring off with one of the local ravens.

"Yo, redhead, lemme talk to you for a minute."

"I'm just pecking for ants. You don't even eat ants."

"I still don't like that head of yours, man. Don't come here anymore or me and my homies will have to take it off you."

You could sense them nearby, the homies, just from the way that raven nonchalantly bullied a larger bird. These guys normally don't even register the existence of humans or dogs, but for some reason they seem to derive considerable entertainment out of harassing the new neighbours' husky puppy. That dog is just this side of "cute" -- handsome furball that he is, right now he's still more wolf than dog. Maybe that's what drew the ravens' attention, something both yet untamed and still unaware of itself, not quite sure of the proper response to this gang of street thugs. The ravens will perch in a circle on trees and rooftops, and take turns at swooping at the puppy. They can go at it for half an hour, coming at him relentlessly from every direction. If the human of the house comes out on the porch scowling, they will land on the ground and arrange themselves in a sneer of feathers.

"Fuck you lookin' at, mammal?"

I'm not sure what good blogging might do me in the context of the next campaign for Vice-President of a national union, but at least the tool is good for thinking aloud. Perhaps the technology could also compensate somewhat for the fact that my feet are nailed in Ottawa and my budget for face-to-face meetings of the campaign team is, after you deduct payments owed to Revenu Québec, in the negative five figures.

We'll see.