An editorial by Carolyn Myers
Being ill for about 10 days and confined to the house has not been altogether a bad thing. While I haven’t felt like interviewing anyone for a story or sitting at my computer trying to focus on writing, I have been able to sit at my kitchen table and look out the big window onto the wide lawn between my neighbor and myself where all manner of nature shows take place.
Crows and squirrels seem to have a weird relationship in my neck of the woods. Sometimes I see this group of crows that play with the squirrels a kind of “Ring Around the Roses” game. At least, that’s what it looks like to me. Crows (two or three) will, with much flapping of glossy, black wings, fly around a tree where a squirrel is skittering in circles on the trunk. Sometimes the squirrel will go up a little higher on the large trunk and the crows dart around, almost like playing “peep-eye” with a baby. Well, they dart as much as they can dart, being very large birds. By the time the crows see the form of the squirrel, he’s run to the other side. The game goes on until something is resolved or maybe they just get tired of playing. The crows usually will fly off in a huff amid much raucous cawing, victor of the field, at least in their opinion.
Concerning crows and their cousins ravens, I saw this on Facebook. Some people think there’s no difference between crows and ravens. Scientifically speaking, however, crows have 16 long wing feathers (called “pinions”) while ravens have 17 of them. So, the difference between crows and ravens is a matter of a pinion. Sorry, but it made me laugh.
Then there’s this bit of humor: a group of crows is called a murder; a couple of crows is called attempted murder.
Aside from watching nature comedies, I’ve also been able to read a lot and watch old movies.
Last night I watched a favorite, “Forrest Gump.” After 25 years, this mega-hit still is great entertainment. References to it are pervasive, even today. The scene where small thugs are throwing rocks at a young Forrest with braces on his legs and Forrest’s little friend, Jenny, is yelling at him to run always reminds me of the story my sister-in-law, Lisa Bates, tells about a military ceremony she attended at Camp Beauregard in Louisiana.
The Change of Command ceremony was to be held on the parade ground there and each officer knew his or her place. Lisa’s boss, a tall, quite thin man, was a participant in the program. It was a dicey situation because he had to walk out from the sideline and reach a certain spot where other officers were standing on the field before the band quit playing. Timing was everything. He heard his musical cue to start onto the field and began the journey over what appeared to be acres of parade ground. He was moving decorously at first but pretty quickly kicked it on up to a brisk walk, still trying to maintain the dignity of his uniform. But the distance was long and the music was winding down. It soon became apparent to the crowds in the stands that the tall, thin man, who was humped up now doing a race walk and had left dignity behind, was probably not going to make it before the music quit. The crowd collectively held its breath. Then from high up in the bleachers a shrill voice rang out, “Run, Forrest, Run!” The whole crowd exploded with laughter.