• Kerry D. Krauss


Walking the hill today, the crows squawked continually. I am neither paranoid enough nor conceited enough to believe they were ranting at me. Two eagles have settled in along the creek. They caused the commotion. I simply interrupted their squabble.

It reminded me of an elementary school playground…raging choruses of kids sprinting from corner to corner creating weal and causing woe. The source of the conflict vague. The scene played out like rival gangs competing for turf—the Sharks and the Jets, the Greasers and the Socs, the crow and the eagle.

I know the crow simply announced the threat. The eagles rattled them and for good reason. As a result, I threatened the crows. The lake pelican threatened the crows. If asked, I’m sure the traffic, the spring, the angry blue jays also threatened them. Today, everything threatened the crows.

Ordinarily, I would want to throw a rock in their general direction. Ordinarily, I would squawk back. Ordinarily, I would take offense at their incessant barking.

Today, I had pity on them. I felt compassion for them. The crows’ raised their only defense against their threat. Their objection was all they could do to protect their nests, their eggs, their territory, and their future. They did what they could with what they had.

I sympathize with the crows today. When threatened—before fight, flight or freeze kicks in—we squawk also. We raise our voices in objection. If possible, we gather our posse for defense and, if necessary, attack. We raise our voices to defend our home, our turf, our future.

This virus has rattled us, and rightly so. This virus threatens us, our wellbeing, our future. We should raise our voices in objection, announce our awareness of our threatened condition. Facebook and Twitter lend themselves to much squawking. As does CNN and Foxnews. It appears the louder the uproar, the deeper the threat. If that’s true, then our squawking has acknowledged our fear. Our noise doesn’t reduce the danger, nor does it eliminate the threat. It should make us feel better, but it does not. It should make us laugh at the surrealness of it all, but it doesn’t.

When you hear your neighbor, or friend, or family member squawking today, remember that they are doing what they can with what they have. Their objection, their complaint, their urgency for caution is borne of the same fear and frustration as yours…and for good reason.

Sympathize rather than antagonize.

Commiserate rather than irritate.

Have compassion rather than inflict distress.

We are all crows. We are all rattled.

I love you.

[I need you.]

I hope for you.

Please be safe.


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10924 Old Stage Rd, Sister Bay, WI 54234


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