Solitude of the Ravens

It was cold, and a light snow was falling.  The flakes were large enough to make out the individual shape of each.  It was about ten o’clock at night, and I was walking home for the day.  Heavy storm clouds hung low over the village, and glowed orange reflecting back the lights on the street.

I walked under a thick canopy of trees, the branches bare for winter.  I was startled by a loud rustling sound, and looked up to see dozens of ravens in the branches above.  My movement awoke their stillness, and in unison they flew in circles around the canopy, cawing their dissatisfaction.

I saw them earlier, not long after sunset.  I saw them flying together over an empty street, a murder of crows, they moved like a black cloud, and barked their calls into the deserted winter night.

I stopped in my tracks as they circled the canopy above me.  I felt they were warning me, that this was their territory, their night.  I turned and walked back and looked for another way home.  Mostly, I didn’t want them to shit on me.

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