It may be black, 6 feet tall, 2000 pounds, and contain 2 singing children, a volume-upped DVD of Monster’s University, a bored teenager and 2 adults eager to end their journey and talking over the afore-mentioned DVD….but it is also a stealthy bird-killing machine! What is it you ask? Why, it is the sleek and sophisticated Dodge Grand Caravan of course! A much-needed all-expenses paid work vacation turns from sunshine and lollipops to death and destruction faster than you can say “is that a crow eating a carcass?”
We have never, my husband and I in our 32 years of combined driving experience, ever hit a bird. And then we bought the Dodge (as in move quickly to DODGE me, or I gonna run you over, punk!). We have now hit 4 birds in 2 years (2 at once actually, which has to be near impossible if you really think about it). It may have a pretty quiet motor, but come on, really? I find the argument that this refrigerator on wheels is so aerodynamic that it creates a vacuum-like jet stream around the van much more realistic. And don’t say women drive too fast (I actually wasn’t driving during any of the 3 bird-o-cides).
The incident in question would be scarring if it wasn’t so damned hilarious. On our way home from Ottawa 2 weeks ago (about 1/2 way through the drive, or ‘lucky we haven’ t hit a snow storm yet so hopefully we’ll get home before dark’ for those of you not familiar with Northern Ontario) we noticed a large dead thing on the highway ahead. Being the TransCanada highway in Northern Ontario we had a clear view of this dead thing from about 10 kilometers away (all flat, no traffic, and surprisingly no blowing snow, yet). As we approached we could tell it was very dead and had become the feasting ground for one very large, very ballsy crow. Now, if you have not seen a crow from Deep River, Ontario, I suggest you picture a condor or bald eagle in order to get a good handle on the size of this thing. So Big Bird is pulling long, stringy pieces of organs from the mystery meat in the middle of the road, and we are watching nonchalantly as we approached (at the speed limit, you don’t mess with those aerial radar planes…they are real, who knew?) 500 metres, 400 metres…this isn’t looking good for the crow at this point. So we slow down and swerve a bit to the left, as we watch the crow take more yank on a piece of small intestine to the right before taking flight…but it doesn’t take flight. He stands his ground with a calmness that is eerie (Edgar Allan Poe-style) and becomes the latest victim of the Crow Crusher 2000.
We shake our heads in disbelief…how does this keep happening. Are all the crows in Northern Ontario suicidal? We notice that the passengers in the oncoming traffic are eyeballing our van and we know instantly that we have a murder-scene on our grill. Then, like a scene from a very-bad horror movie…BAM, a big black feathered wing sticks straight up over the hood and waves at us (in the wind, don’t worry, it wasn’t alive and struggling!) Our alarm quickly turns to curiosity as the wing reappears a few times and then disappears completely. No more head turns and pointing from the oncoming traffic, so we believe the crow has slipped off and become its own pile of road kill.
Not so. When we stop for a pee-break we hesitantly peer around the front of the death machine to see what kind of remnants are left for us to scrape off. To our disgust, the small intestine the greedy crow was so enamoured with was now a souvenir from our trip, and there is a large grapefruit-sized hole in the grill. Well, no harm to fowl (had to!)…but alas, the Bird Bludgeoner has one more trick up her sleeve for us today! For what do we see when we peer into the dark hole in the grill…2 beady eyes, a half open beak and teradactyl legs (well, atleast that is how it seemed when I screamed and jumped back)! The Dodge Death Mobile had EATEN the crow…sucked it right into the engine area (yes that is the technical term)…lodged with wings spread and leftovers on its face…for the rest of the ride home (later to be removed comedically with barbeque tongs!)
Moral of the story….going back for seconds (even of internal organs) is never a good idea