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s 1.10 Contemplating Murder / MLMM Tale Weaver/ haibun (haikai 68 | Jules Longer Strands of Gems

#Haiku Happenings #1 (1/16/19): Jules’ #haibun for my latest(accidentally extended) #haikai challenge

Contemplating Murder

The committee to clean the ravenstones was in place. Straws were drawn to see who would go where. Some went to the larger churchyards with their buckets, spades, rakes and hoes. The early spring had allowed weeds grow meters in days. Once a year wasn’t really enough but it was what the group was willing to do. And it only stood to reason to have clean cemeteries when the tourists came to ooh and ahh at the occasional celebrity.

Annabelle and Gordon drew the little lot that was almost hidden behind its rusted gates at the far north end of Victoria’s Weep park. They came prepared to clean the ravenstones and even brought black paint to whitewash the ornate iron work. First though they had to shoo away the storytelling of crows. Who didn’t seem at all willing to leave their perches. But Annabelle had thought about that from another time when she had helped the committee and had brought seed along that she purposely trailed seed to a larger pile and open sack several kilometers away.

“Go on now, go I’ve brought you a feast. Let me tidy up a bit here and you can all return later,” Annabelle warbled in a sing song fashion. Gordon not being a fan of most avians watched in amazement at what seemed to be a very intelligent bunch. They hoped a bit from foot to foot, cawed a bit in mock protest, but then flew off to devour the offering.

all dressed in black, there
muster your bravery do
intelligent flock

Photo credit here


Note: I’ve used several names for a group of crows/ ravens in this piece including a new one I hadn’t known before; they are Murder, Muster, Storytelling. As it turns out Ravens have their own set of names.

A group of crows is called a murder, muster or storytelling of crows. The most widely used term is “murder.”// This is based on the (fallacious) folk tale that crows form tribunals to judge and punish the bad behavior of a member of the flock. If the verdict goes against the defendant, that bird is killed (murdered) by the flock. The basis in fact is probably that occasionally crows will kill a dying crow who doesn’t belong in their territory or much more commonly feed on carcasses of dead crows. Also, both crows and ravens are associated with battlefields, medieval hospitals, execution sites and cemeteries (because they scavenged on human remains). In England, a tombstone is sometimes called a ravenstone.

A group of ravens is called a congress or unkindness. It depends on the behavior of the group at the moment. They can be referred to as a constable, an unkindness, or a conspiracy. If referred to as crows, they become a murder.
— Read on juleslongerstrandsofgems.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/s-1-10-contemplating-murder-mlmm-tale-weaver-haibun-haikai-68/comment-page-1/


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