Thursday, September 6, 2007

Counting Crows

On the ride home yesterday I saw a dead crow lying next to the bike path. My first thought was, "Man, how sad. Crows are so awesome."

My next thought was, "Dead Crow. Holy crap - WEST NILE VIRUS."

Being a good citizen I stopped, went back to the bird, and dialed City Services (Chicago has this excellent line -311; you call it for anything you need regarding city services and they connect you to the right place. It rocks.)

I got Mr Price, and explained that I was standing over a dead crow and I didn't know whether the city was tracking or testing them.

"You have a dead-bird report?" he asked. "I'll put you through to the right department."

I had a feeling I was being sent to the "Come clean up the roadkill in front of my house" department, when what I really wanted was the State Epidemiology lab, the forensics lab, the CDC, INTERPOL, SOME crisis-response team STAT, because what I had at my feet was no hit-and run-over pigeon; this was a dead CROW, and it was not near traffic. It was intact, no obvious damage to its body, and dead. Very sadly dead. I took in its black feet and shiny beak, the red of its eyes, half-closed in death, while I was on hold. If this crow died because of West Nile, by God, I was going to help track down its killer. This crow would not go unavenged on MY watch.

Finally, a person came on, I gave the location of the crow, and kept saying "West Nile virus," but I wasn't sure the girl registered the importance of my call. My very important, civic-minded call.

I rode again today. The crow was still there.


SP said...

Couldn't that crow just have, I don't know - died?

JC said...

Crows don't DIE.

SP said...

Well, where do they go, then, when they're really old?

SP said...

Hah! See? Don't even have an answer to that one, now, do ya.

JC said...