…in the chicken coop.
The black shadows cast by the birds swirling overhead have chased them inside. They have no need to worry though. The shadows are not cast by hawks or eagles this time. But the vultures who have gathered to dine on the fallen calf in the neighbor’s field next door.
Yesterday morning, I watched as the circling birds grew in number from one to fifteen at my biggest count. Vultures are very polite. They share their bounty with an orderly sort of rotation. First one bird, then the next rips off a tasty tidbit and then leaves the rotting beast to go swallow their portion before returning to the line for their next bite.
The gathering of vultures at a feast is a sight one does not see in the city. Three tend to sit on the fence posts as the look out birds. They are the last to fly off when the sound of the lawn mower scatters the birds from their prize. They come back though. While flesh is left on the bones, they always come back.
We have tried to call the neighbor for two days now to let them know about their calf. It is located near the culvert. Next to the tree the animals like to shelter under in the heat or the rain. It was a fawn color. They will not be able to tell that now when they finally discover the remaining bones.
None of the rest of the herd has been down by the tree. When they come back, I will moo at them as I work in the garden. They moo back. Giant cows with humps and long horns, they are sociable in the evenings. The zebra horse does not like to chat, but Nick-Nick the llama blows raspberries at me when I call him by his name. I admit that I blow raspberries back.
I am grateful that in the chaos and madness of the world I have cows to moo at me. The downfall of every civilization is coupled with chaos and madness. Not everyone has neighboring cows as consolation.