Black Tie


There were three buzzards or vultures on a telephone line when I left my house this morning.

They were looking out over the piece of land across the street. Calm. Watching.

I put on my blinker and made my turn, but they stayed on my mind.

I assumed because of their presence that something must have died in that part of the desert. I don’t know much about vultures, but I think they have a sense when something dies, maybe they smell?

I suppose I could Google, but I’m trying to do less of that these days.

Why were there three of them? That was my first thought. Second thought. What must it be like to lurk around waiting for something to die and then eating that decay?

It seems so morbid and kind of gross.

On top of their seedy instincts and feeding habits, buzzards are not attractive birds. They’re sort of bald and they have a turkey gobble, but it’s not cute at all.

Ugly, death seeking, flesh-eating birds. Yuck, I thought by the time I’d stopped to get my tea.

Climbing back into my car, I decided I was being mean.

Who the hell was I to judge the vultures? Maybe they look down on us and have no idea why we waste food or bury our dead. They probably don’t get us either.

I thought about those three birds, and my reaction to them, for most of the morning.

The surface of anything is nothing. I know that, or maybe I don’t. Maybe it’s just some clever mantra I post on Pinterest and I don’t really get it.

I was so quick to judge in the brief time it took me to turn my environment-polluting car.

I decided three birds were gross. I don’t know them, or their lives.

I didn’t even bother to think about where they fit in, what they offer, or the service they provide to the entire population. I simply judged.

That makes me yucky. I’m sorry guys.

Hope it was a good morning for you. Next time I’ll wave.

My thoughts from the laundry room. Feather Bed.


3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I guess the important thing is that you kept thinking about it and analysed your own immediate reaction. It’s human to be prejudiced, but we should probably address that in our own lives and in our own heads.

  2. I guess I think of vultures as the ultimate recyclers…they reduce and recycle. They clean the detritus of death from our highways and roads. Yes, they look like hulking Skekzis (reference The Dark Crystal movie), but they do a marvelous job. The odd thing is that many other carrion fowl like bald eagles scavenge without getting labeled ‘yucky’ which is rather ironic. ~nan

  3. Ah….not yucky, but human! One morning while on my ritual walk in Carefree during those difficult days of caring for my mother I noticed…more than usual…the saguaros. Love those saguaros! Each an individual ….each just as unique as the souls standing in line at Starbucks. Though saguaros dotted the landscape everywhere, there were three saguaros quite close to each other. So for the remainder of the walk I thought of those three as a family. Father, mother and baby. Weaving a tiny story in my head. The others that stood nearby were town folks. A happy community of saguaros, everyone getting along. Not a difficult prickly fellow in the lot of them. Until I returned to reality…taking care of business back at the house.

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