Meet The Boys: Bach, Beethoven & Brahms; they patrol the
Pine Grove Cemetery
in , where I take my afternoon walk. I’m
not at all sure if they’re boys (who’s to know? And, more importantly, how do
you tell?), but they’ve been hanging out together all summer. Brunswick, Maine
They know me now, and we’re friends.
I owe that friendship to my maternal grandmother, who loved crows and taught me to love them as well.
It took some time, believe me.
When I first started walking in the cemetery, there was quite a ruckus – great flappings and cawings; they flew from tree to tree in the woods around the perimeter, yelling at me the entire time.
But I remembered my grandmother, and so I talked back.
“Hello! Hello!” I called, ambling along the walkways, stopping to investigate interesting gravestones. “Goodness! Such a racket!”
They hollered back, a constant harassment; I was an interloper, an intruder.
And so it went for a week or more.
I went to our local farm and feed store and bought a bag of sunflower seeds. That same afternoon, I put a couple of handfuls into a baggie, then headed out for my walk.
And this time, I took the lead.
“Hey!” I shouted, when I got out of the car. “I’ve got something for you!” I shook the seeds in the bag, held it up.
There was silence for just a moment, but then they cawed back.
“And if you keep your eyes on me, you’ll see what it is!”
I walked along, sprinkling seeds every now and then, talking the entire time; I talked about the weather, how my writing was going, how good these sunflower seeds taste...on and on.
They quieted down a little. They perched up in the trees, but they never took their eyes off me; their vocalizations shifted a bit, became calmer.
When I was a safe distance down the path, they flew down from the trees, down into the grass to find the seeds.
They recognize my car now; they’re often waiting for me. There are a few loud cawings when I first arrive – she’s here, she’s here! – and then softer calls. I talk, they talk back; I walk up and down those lovely rows and they walk with me – Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.