Monday, February 28, 2005

Cheering Heckyl & Jeckyl As They Take Down The Queen...

It is rare that a story about crows warms the heart, but this one really does. Six ravens live in the Tower of London. There is a myth that if the six ravens leave the Tower of London, it'll fall and so will the British monarchy. And if that happens, we'll lose interest what's going down between Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, as they will become just be another unattractive middle-aged couple getting hitched.

A bunch of crows have decided that the Tower of London is their turf, not some pampered monarchial ravens. The arrival of these crows has threaten to harm or kill the ravens. They have taken to stealing the ravens' food and spreading disease like joy.

And there are some damn good vittles to be stolen. Every morning, the "ravenmaster" brings these ravens chicken hearts bought from gourmet British grocery, Smithfields, and biscuits soaked in blood. That sounds delicious to a hungry crow. These crows eat better than most child refugees (somewhere in some camp in Darfur, some kid is asking what is for dinner. "Rice? Again?").

But, you don't get the nice digs and good grub just for being a raven. No, these ravens must have decorum. The monarchial ravens have to act "right;" according to the abive-linked Reuters story, "[t]he Governor of the Tower has been known to dismiss ravens for 'conduct unbecoming.'" One raven named Nigel was dismissed in 1993 for coming on to Princess Anne, because, frankly, no animal in their right mind should.

The "ravenmaster" -- Yeoman Warder Derrick Coyle -- has the unpleasant task of culling the crow population by killing a fair number of them. I, for one, hope that Yeoman Warder Coyle fails in his efforts to defeat the crow menance. I think it would be funny and quite satisfying if the myth were true and the British monarchy was indeed taken down by a bunch of crows with the mange.


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