Of Murder, Conspiracy, and Congress...
This year’s news is so dismal; some lighter fare seems in order: Each Monday, we set out our trash container in the driveway behind our home. About 5:00 p.m. a huge garbage truck comes up our road. We enjoy the driver because he is very bright, has a great personality, and knows what the local bears, raccoons, mountain lions, and pine martens are doing. Unfortunately, we don’t always get to go out and greet him in person.
Nevertheless, we try to show our appreciation by topping the trash container with a tasty muffin and a bottle of water. But three weeks ago, the local Ravens decided to steal his muffin.
Ravens and Crows are some of the smartest of God’s creatures. Crows are smaller than Ravens. If Crows sang Barbershop, they would be tenors with their staccato caw, caw, and caw. Ravens would sing baritone and add some tremolo to their deeper caw, caw, and caw. Ravens and Crows mate for life and usually fly in cooperative pairs, setting a good example for Humankind.
The collective noun for a group of Crows is a "Murder." A group of Ravens is a "Conspiracy." Why? No one knows exactly. By contrast, the collective noun for a group of Baboons is a "Congress." No one questions that.
Three weeks ago, we covered the muffin with a Tupperwear® bottom and taped it down with duct tape with the muffin underneath. One of the Ravens pried up the edge of the Tupperwear® bottom while the other Raven (the one we call Lenore) stole the muffin. Back to the drawing board.
The following week, we duct taped a complete Tupperwear® unit, top and bottom, to the trash container. The muffin rested inside the Tupperwear® inside a sandwich bag. The Ravens pecked a hole in the plastic lid, pulled the sandwich bag out through the hole and ate the muffin. Back to the drawing board. This was war!
After some searching, Wonder Wife found one of those little metal boxes used to hold three by five cards. With an electric drill, we put a pair of holes in the hinged lid and a pair of holes in the bottom portion of the box. The holes were there so we could insert plastic cable ties to form a loop sticking out the hinged lid and a second loop sticking out of the bottom part of the box. We inserted a carabiner to capture the top and the bottom loops, locking the top and bottom of the box together.
We shared a photo of our design with a dear friend who immediately saw the flaw in our design. If the Ravens pecked through the plastic cable ties, the carabiner would fall to the ground. The Ravens would flip open the box and steal the muffin.
Fortunately, last Monday, the metal box defeated the Ravens. Our trash man got his muffin. The outraged Ravens formed a raucous Conspiracy in a nearby tree; probably, plotting against those plastic cable ties. If they defeat the cable ties, we have some baling wire. Nevermore, will Ravens steal the muffins.
Now, isn’t this better than reporting about a Congress of Baboons?
Suggested reading: "The Raven," by Edgar Allan Poe, 1845.
©2022. William Hamilton.