Flumes Volume 2: Issue 1, Summer 2017 - Page 98

now they are gone thanks to the determination and ruthlessness of Tony. Thus far, he has only killed one bird while living in this house, at least that we know of. He is seemingly not much of a bird killer, but he is a killer nonetheless.

One morning, after the death of the scrub jay’s mate, I woke up to a cricket in our house with its legs ripped off and a dead mouse in the backyard with its head missing. Needless to say, it was a very gruesome scene. At first, I did not notice that the cricket was missing its back legs, so I had scooped it outside and put it in the yard. After a couple hours, I took my dog outside to

relieve herself and noticed that the cricket was struggling. I bent over to take a closer look and that’s when I noticed the hind legs were missing the bottom half. I was so taken aback that I just left it there, but I eventually went outside again as thoughts kept running through my mind of how the poor thing was struggling, rolling around in circles with no way to move. When I went out again to inspect the cricket, it was still alive but ants were starting to crawl on it. I went inside to get my husband’s shoe and I squished it, twice for good measure. There was a loud crunch and lots of icky goo came out. As for the dead mouse, it ended up in the trash bin. My cat was inside taking a nap while I cleaned up his murder scene. At one point, he lazily lifted his head and looked at me, stretched and yawned and resumed his peaceful slumber.

I witnessed two Prairie Falcons hunting together in the field behind my house. It was a beautiful sight. What had to be a nesting pair, were sitting on the fence on top of the steep hill. One went off to hunt while the other stayed perched on the fence on lookout duty. The hunting falcon glided through the air and suddenly dove down, talons out, swooping in on its prey. When the other returned, they switched positions and the other went to hunt. The way they glided was peaceful, quite the opposite of their task, and I couldn’t stop myself from watching. I must’ve stood at my sliding door for a good thirty minutes, viewing them through a pair of high-powered binoculars where I was able to witness their hunt as if I was there with them gliding through the air, feeling the wind sweeping under my wings, and targeting my prey from above.

Tony most likely sensed that these birds were much more powerful than the one he was at odds with, that they are predators like himself. He stayed clear away. He observed them from his favorite sunbathing spot on top of the shed, but made no moves towards them. The falcons eyed Tony from a

85