Friday, August 16, 2013

One Raven Summer

With pangs of hunger in my stomach and all the visitors having gone home, I was desperate to find something to eat and if that did not happen soon, I would have to resort to begging in the parking lots of the fast-food-outlets around Canmore and Banff.
If there were too many other ravens, as well as those repulsive seagulls hanging out and resorting to this form of feeding themselves, my flock would have to fly from Canmore to Banff and possibly Lake Louise in search of food. The flock disliked having to fly the Bow Valley Parkway throughout the summer months, as the visitors in their cars were bumper to bumper the full length of the parkway, and the cars gave off obnoxious fumes that caused many a member of the flock to have been asphyxiated.

My flock had spent the summer ranging up and down the Spray Valley, where we had been able to feed on carrion, that we would find on what the visitors called "the road". This resulted when these loud foul smelling behemoths, that the visitors referred to as "the car" came in contact with one of the animals that lived in the valley. This free lunch provided by the visitors cars, came at a price however, as we were forced to swoop down on the remains lying on the highway, and quickly tear off what we could before a car came along, forcing us to flee for our lives.

 When carrion was in short supply, we overcame our fear of the visitors, as we had discovered that the visitors carried tasty treats with them, that they sometimes left behind when they were finished eating. If more desperate, we discovered that if we swooped in and hung-out where they were eating these treats, the visitors would sometimes throw bits and pieces to us. Of course this came with a price also, as we were forced to dash in for our share at the expense of the other members of the flock. This led to a lot of arguments and bad feelings amongst the members. We found it was best if we split up in smaller groups, as these visitors seemed somewhat annoyed by our fighting and raising hell if we arrived in a loud boisterous flock.

Throughout the summer, several of us would take a break from the flock, and fly up the Bow Valley Parkway to Johnston Canyon, a mecca for my fellow ravens who would range up and down the canyon from the parking lot to as far as the upper waterfall. We rarely flew further up the canyon, as most of the visitors had trouble walking even this far, as they appeared to be out of shape as they huffed and puffed their way up the trail. The trail had been built by the visitors who lived here, for the visitors that only came for what I understand were their summer holidays. The flock was sure that had the visitors known that everyone else would also be taking their summer holidays at the same time, they would have stayed home.

 Fortunately for the flock, they came in droves with their kids
who although loud and boisterous, not unlike the flock, brought treats that they rarely finished eating. The flock being the opportunists that they are benefited from this behavior, as these young visitors would throw their treats into the creek that bordered the trail. This trail had a railing that kept the visitors from falling in to the creek, and this is where the flock perched, with the better spots taken up by the elders of the flock. We found that these young visitors were easily separated from their treats, by pecking at their dirty, pudgy and sticky hands that got to near the railing that we were perched on

. Of course the consequences of this action, was the fact that the various members of the flock were forced to flee to a new perch on the railing, when the visitors attempted to kill us with these large plastic containers they carried, that contained what passes for the visitors drinking water. We found this fizzy water to be somewhat repulsive, as at one time or another we had tried to drink from the empty containers that the visitors cast aside when they were done with them

.Once summer ended and the visitors had gone home, the flock made their way back to Banff and Canmore where we managed to survive until the winter visitors arrived with sticks tied to the roof of their cars. They tied these sticks to their feet, and then they tried to kill themselves, while attempting to slide down the steep mountain slopes. The flock could never understand this self-destructive behavior of the visitors. The flock found that one of the more popular fast-food places for visitors, was a place we learnt to pronounce the words to. A place that the visitors called "Tim Hortons". The flock never developed a taste for this foul smelling muddy drinking water that the visitors were addicted to.

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