I awoke to a terrible clatter of Raven calls. They weren’t the usual, “I’m here where are you?” or whatever it is they say as they sail low over the house. They ride the air waves down from the Wapac ridge behind and caw out a greeting as they drift overhead. This was instant, alarmed and very loud. I walked out to the back deck and though the forest has grown a thick curtain of leaves I could make out the sunny patch of cleared woods on the next ridge. The voice of the parent was echoing back insistently. Then I heard a smaller call. Perhaps a fledgling had fallen from the nest. I listened for another ten minutes. The situation was not resolving itself. By now, all five of my roommates sat, lined up next to me gazing into the woods.
My red rubber Wellies were cold and stiff but I sloshed out the back gate and started to hike through the mud to the clearing. The birds became more agitated and one large adult swooped from the top of a pine to chastise me. Then it dawned on me. A simple family squabble with a teen-ager who wouldn’t listen to parental advice about what he/she needed to get themselves out of a jam. I shouldn’t intrude, anymore than I would in a human neighbor’s parenting embarrassment.
Tonight, I heard them soaring, riding the breeze down the hill. I looked up and saw three silhouettes against the sky.