It was a bright and sunny day. I was on assignment down on Fort Myers Beach when I got word of a murder at a local hotel. The place is a tourist trap. Neon vacancy sign. Tiki bars and hot tubs. Not a bad place but nothing to crow about.
Word was that a murder of crows numbering about one hundred had come to roost and was causing a commotion about a mile away…as the crow flies. Hard to believe. I had my doubts about my source – an old crow with her eye on the comings and goings on the island.
I pulled in the lot and stepped out of my vehicle. My informant was right. Perched in a Royal Palm, two black crows cawed a raucous alarm – heckling and jeckling me as I surveyed the property.
Each palm that lined the lot was ornamented with black birds. As I stood there counting crows, my eye was drawn upwards towards the crow’s nest of the hotel where a handful of birds perched ominously across the HOTEL sign and roof, flanked by immovable stone owls – scarecrows of sorts and unsuccessful ones at that.
I took off my shades and squinted in the bright sunshine, trying to get a better tally of my suspects. The sun-scarred skin around my eyes cracked like a dried up muddy lake decorated with the macabre steps of the crow’s feet at the dance of the dead.
There are a hundred crows here. Definitely a murder. Not sure what it means literally or figuratively. I think they’re getting a bad rap. Either way looks like the lunch special at the Tiki bar today is crow.