June 20, 2008

Neighborhood Hawks

We have hawks in our backyard. A breed that is rare, evidently. There is a man around the block who's into birds and he has identified these hawks and has people from all around coming to see them. Birdwatching types. I have two hawk stories, two rather weird hawk stories. One happened years ago, one happened this morning.

Years ago, when Luke was a little boy, he and Stan were sitting on the hammock out back and Stan was telling him a story. He's always told the boys stories when they were young. For Seth, it was always "then they heard something moving in the bushes!" and it was usually a wolf. For some reason with Luke, the stories often included hawks or giant birds. So, they were sitting there swinging and storytelling and Stan uttered, "Then a giant bird swooped down and picked the boy up by his shoulders and carried him off into the sky..." and as these words were coming out of his mouth a hawk swooped down in front of them and picked up a chipmunk from the grass and flew off. Then Stan and Luke came running into the house with wide eyes and jaws hanging and crazy smiles and told me the story of what happened during their story.

Since that story, hawks have become a normal part of our daily lives. Just yesterday Sean and Evan called from the back yard for me to come see the giant hawk sitting in the dead tree above them. I believe these hawks have substantially decreased the chipmunk population of the yard. We used to have them running all over the joint, but now it's rare that I even see one.

This morning at 6:00, Stan and his Bible study friend were sitting in the little second story porch off Stan's garage office. They saw a little white rabbit hopping around our neighbor's yard and Stan recognized him as Coconut, their rabbit that is usually penned up in his hutch. He said to Jack, "Oh no, Coconut is going to get caught by a hawk. I'd better go get him." Just then a hawk swooped down at Coconut, but he swerved and the hawk missed. Stan and Jack ran down the steps and into the neighbor's yard on a mission to catch Coconut who had fallen out of his hutch through a hole in the floor. But Coconut is a rabbit and they had some trouble getting their hands on him. He'd run between Jack and Stan and the big oak tree and then into our yard where Ruby would chase him back toward the men. Finally, between the oak, the dog and the two men, Coconut was cornered and Jack caught him. Stan delivered him to the neighbor who came to the door with shaving cream on his face and got to hear the story of Coconut's exciting morning with the neighborhood hawk.


rosemary said...

We have red wing hawks....and worse...owls. The owls have a system. They wait until the stupid birds land like doves, then sit really still like owls tend to do and get the birds in a movement so fast you almost don't see it happen. They stay on those doves until there is nothing, not even feathers left...sorry, kinda icky. Squirrels are next. I spent all last summer...the summer of the Kittens...worrying that they and SweetPea would be dessert.

Paul Nichols said...

I grew up in a similar kinda neighborhood. We didn't like the hawks getting to our rabbits and chickens. They were our dinners.

But those are good stories you told. You'll be telling them around warm fireplaces for years yet to come.

Mom said...

I hope Coconut was thankful for his daring rescue.
Good stories