Si, it's #birds
today. Here's a story I wrote.Corvus
From the roof of St Cuthbert’s a large stone raven, Corvus, overlooked the main courtyard. An unusual choice, but St Cuth had a long history of corvidae, with centuries-old rookeries in the rear garden’s trees. What better place for her research? There were countless studies of corvidae intelligence, but Adrienne’s focus on interspecies communication was new. No one believed magpies and crows spoke to each other, and she had been accused of obsession with these birds.
She sat on the hill overlooking St Cuthbert’s, telescopically spying on the stone raven. The statue was a bird magnet. Jackdaws and crows mingled in front of it, surprisingly friendly towards each other. A magpie arrived with something shiny in its beak and dropped it under the statue. Adrienne was puzzled, but her view was blocked. She had to get up there.
Dawn saw her climbing the old building with the help of a drainpipe, ledges and sturdy vines. The rooks briefly raised the alarm before she reached the top, then moved on. There they were, she thought, catching her breath on the roof: Corvus and its followers. She gasped as she saw the great shining puddle underneath it – jewellery, keys, even smart phones.
She drew closer when suddenly, several large crows approached menacingly. She was aware of the drop to the stone courtyard close behind her, and it was a long way down. Adrienne didn’t hesitate. She dropped down, prostrating herself in front of the stone raven. “Corvus, I serve you as my one and only lord.” She felt a strange warmth as she said the words, and the crows ignored her once more.
She stayed low, watching the odd dawn chorus assemble. A flash caught her eye, and she realised the mobile phones under Corvus had come to life. She thought she was imagining it when she saw the stone statue moved its head, very slightly, to face the birds at its feet, its beak opening a fraction of an inch. The voice filled her ears and resonated in her stomach. “Soon, my children. Our time is coming soon.”