Copyright © (Edward) Hugh Petrie, May 30, 2003
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My mom was in the hospital and I was some freaked out. I’d turned down the opportunity to get a ride to the party in Osgoode but decided to walk - a distance I’d never considered in my life - some 22 miles.
Along the way I found a dead marsh hawk by the road not far past the race course. It was getting quite dark by then.
At the time I didn’t know what I’ve learned since from another experience with birds while living in a twelfth floor hirise. It is against the law for other than an aboriginal to take feathers or body parts from a dead found bird.
So I admit now that I tore long wing feathers from the bird. There was no question it was dead. Roll the body horizontally with the head extended and it hung down - all the time. Limp. No life at all.
The first feathers came out and there was this loud, "Rowrk!", and I jumped about an inch off the ground as my feet and legs flexed uncontrollably. "Oh" no! I felt. It’s alive!
But no! It still lay there doing nothing like dead things do.
At the party someone showed me their hawk foot taken from a dead hawk - illegally - though I doubt they knew it was illegal.
The hawk foot was passed around the room and some time later the lady who thought it was hers came saying it had flown the coop.
Hawk feet can fly by themselves? Ah no! ‘Tis another party where we have a thief.
It’s like all those lighters that get passed around a room and the owner never sees it again.
Or if it is noticed being used by the thief he’ll feign not realizing he’d put someone else’s lighter in his pocket.
Some are really good at it.
The next morning I and a woman who’d been really strange with me as I lay trying to sleep in a freezing cold room with no real cover went out and over to a drainage ditch which had a sort of pond part.
As we sat in the sun we noted the noise of frogs mating.
There would be this eerie long silence and then the raucous noise of croaking would begin the amazing chorus of frog singing.
Then the frogs would rush and thrash through the water to each other, gathering in groups of four or more it seemed.
Two males would hold the female on her back supporting her in this position that was otherwise unnatural and impossible for her possibly. A third male would be doing his thing ensuring that future fishermen or gourmands would have their pail or plate well filled.
Well. That is up to where the greed of production for profit drove maniacs to poisoning the ecosystem so our frogs are dying out as freaks and hopeless sexless beings.
My mom came out of it OK for an old gal - that time.
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