Coal-black, sleek, cackling titans,
Foreboding, demonic and dark
Edgar Allen Poe’s fond familiars;
But—those aren’t our ravens, oh no
Muskoka’s are practical jokers
Bursting garbage bags with ease
Willful, comedic tricksters
Partaking of gourmet delights
While scattering the odorous rest
For all with less delicate palates:
Bears, mice, skunks and—Thelma,
The welfare bum’s hound.

Their secret, coded messages
In endless variety and volume
Echo through the trees
Imitating and confusing
Bluejays, crows and, yes, Thelma,
The twanging guitarist’s hound.

Top gun fliers, dauntless and bold,
Swoop and swerve, narrowly missing
Tree trunks, branches, hydro wires
And, yes, Thelma,
The irritating neighbour’s hound.

Over the cliff they loop the loop,
Barrel-roll, dive and coast,
The Red Baron, no match, whatever
For these Olympian fliers.

Chief Raven, half a beak missing
Hell’s Angel of the bird domain
Spots Thelma and her dead-beat pal
Out for an evening stroll.
Cawing raucously, he plummets—
Plopping capriciously
On our irritant’s bare head
Copious dog dung, flat and frozen.
Just imagine the rest!

So, to savour poetic justice,
Raise your glasses high,
To our jaunty cliff-dwellers,
Pugnacious, daring and wild.

  • Eleanor Kidd

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