Reading the Signs


A lot happened on this beach before Aki arrived with her Frisbee. Even as nearsighted detective as I can find the evidence. First, there’s the singing raven, running through his collect of chortles and croaks until he spots my little dog. Then he squawks. There are other signs: rock painted white with eagle scat, several of the big bird’s brown and white feathers scattered nearby, salmon backbone almost picked clean of meat. Over there, a confusion of gull tracks show where they hunkered like hyenas waiting for a lion to abandon its kill. The gulls now float just offshore, beaks pointed toward the beach. But I can’t explain the fresh tracks of a deer that walked up to a salmon carcass and then darted into the woods when we approached. Perhaps it just wanted to see what the raven was singing about.


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