A Murder On The Roof

There it goes again! What is that noise? In the quiet of the morning when no one else is around I heard it. A noise I could not identify in the house. My eyesight may not be 20-20, but my sense of hearing is in tune with, I thought, every creak and groan of the house.

I know when the furnace kicks on with a swoosh of air. The washer and dryer have their own noisy cadence when in use. A dripping faucet will bring me out of a sound sleep. But this was different. I sat up and strained my ears against the quiet only to hear it again.

Was that a pounding noise or something hitting against the house? It was still too dark to accurately see anything outside so I did a quiet stroll through the house to pinpoint the disturbance. I bravely opened the basement door and stood at the top of the steps and listened, hard. Nothing but the usual hum of the furnace and dehumidifier down there. Door closed, the hunt continues.

I decided to make a cup of tea and wait for dawn to allow me a better view outside for the possible source of this unfamiliar sound. As I sipped my brew, I heard it again. This time it sounded like eight tiny reindeer were prancing on the roof, but Christmas had come and gone. When light began to filter into the bedroom windows, I slowly raised the blinds. Snow was coming off the roof in clumps right before my eyes.

Now I knew something was on the roof. I went around to the back door and peered out. And there they were. No, not tiny reindeer but a sizable murder of large, black crows. They were the source of those strange sounds. Apparently they enjoyed their perch while kicking up the snow that continued to fall from the roof. It was a relief to know I was not being invaded by the shadow people or some furry beasts. But what did they want?

I have noticed an excessive number of crows on my lane and around the house in recent weeks. They fill the trees to the point of turning the gray branches to ominous-looking black clouds. The first time I witnessed hundreds of the crows in the yard, I hurried back inside, thinking only of the horrific scenes in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, “The Birds.”

Because of the extreme temperatures and snowfall, garbage collection on my rural road has been delayed by several weeks. There are too many bags now to fit in the garbage cans so you can imagine what havoc that is causing. The excess trash on these roads has turned into a game of thrones for the wildlife, especially the crows that share our woods. They have learned to get inside those two-ply, guaranteed-not-to-leak expensive trash bags. Perhaps my fear is that the crows are collecting trash and bringing it to my rooftop to dine. I can only imagine finding margarine tubs and bread wrappers in my gutters come springtime.

Maybe we should put a sinister looking plastic owl on the roof. At least owls are quiet, right?

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at: hziegler@theintelligencer.net.