A murder of crows descend upon Portland at night and cackle with glee at the ice spectacle before them…(photo courtesy of C.S.I. Berg who took the photo from the 12th Floor Forensic Evidence Division of the Portland Police Bureau)
We had stopped at Eugene, a larger town in the west of Oregon.
Towns have interesting names here; Florence and Eugene and Jasper were names I expect on a name tag, not a street sign, whilst I did not expect towns like Detroit and Lebanon and Waterloo to be in this part of the world. And then there were towns called Sweet Home and Philomath and Crow I had not expected to exist at all.
“So, time to get something to eat”, Paula said. She seemed to be in a good mood; she had been singing along the last few songs and there was a certain rhythm in her steps. “Any wishes what to get for lunch?” I tentatively suggested Pizza, since I had been craving it the whole day. “Sounds good. Let me see…”, Paula got out her notebook, a small leather bound book she had used a few times before. “Eugene, Oregon…”, she flipped through the pages, though she got to the searched one way faster than it seemed possible. “Here it is. Now, pizza… Ah, this one should be good.”
She nodded and closed the small book. “What is that for a note book? Do you have a page for every town? But that would be impossible, it is way to small. A page for every town of Oregon?”, I asked puzzled. Paula shook her head and flipped through the book. In fast succession she showed me a page about interesting places in the Antarctic, places to see, things to do and restaurants in Berlin, New York, New Delhi, Tokyo and Lima. All of them handwritten. “Do you have a page about Tacoma as well?” There it was, this time there were also a few notes in a different handwriting.
“So how does it work?” “I am not entirely sure. It holds all the information I ever noted down about all towns and regions of the world. Depending on what I need it sorts it by country, state, letter, climate, the possibility of getting wet in a thunder storm… I got it from this book binder in Germany. She has a Gift about books, I am not sure what exactly. She also does diaries that answer you with solutions for your problems, letter books where both parts of the correspondence gets a book and write their letter in it and it appears in the book of the other partner. Awesome things. Nice lady.” She pocketed the book. “Now, groceries and then we go and look for that pizza.”
When we came out of the supermarket, I caught a police officer staring at me. He looked at his phone and seemed to compare me to something on the display. He stared again, his eyes twitching between me and Paula, and he seemed to consider whether I was in trouble and Paula meant danger. “That police man is starring at us, I am afraid my father filed a missing person report. Hurry, act as if you like me. I don’t want to get you in trouble!”, I whispered. Paula looked confused for a moment, then she smiled.
“So, how was school today, sweetheart?”, she asked. “Did you do well in your exam?” “It went better than expected, thanks for asking auntie. It is so nice I am allowed to stay with you whilst Mom and Dad spend their second honey moon on Hawaii. I love spending time with you!” Paula managed to get a hand free so she could give me a one armed hug.
“Me too, sweetheart, me too.” The officer frowned and looked down on his phone.
“What the…?”, I heard him mutter. “I could have sworn there was a wanted poster here…”
WE DO NOT CUSTOMARILY DO THIS. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE WHAT WE ARE ABOUT TO DO AS AN INVITATION TO REQUEST AN EXCEPTION TO OUR RULES: WHAT RULES WE HAVE, WE HAVE FOR GOOD REASON. BUT SOMETIMES, EVEN REASON MUST BE SUSPENDED. SOMETIMES, EXCEPTIONS MUST BE MADE.
THIS REQUEST WAS CARRIED TO US BY THE CORN, SENT BY amymebberson, WHO IS WELL-BELOVED OF THE BIRTHDAY:
“Hail to the Birthday Unending, I humbly petition entrance for a very dear, special creature. My dearest friend is hurting since her beloved Jett had to go. Jett is the most excellent of Puppies and brings enormous ears to listen to stories and energy to race the winds. I offer this portrait of Jett at the Birthday, so that her person may be comforted. May the crows of Oregon always carry her person’s thoughts to her.“
WE THANK YOU, AMY, FOR YOUR REQUEST; WE KNOW THAT IT WAS CARRIED LONG AND FAR, AND THAT IT WAS NOT LIGHTLY MADE. NOW, IF YOU WILL EXCUSE US…
HELLO, JETT. WHO IS A GOOD DOG? THIS IS A MYSTERY WHICH HAS PLAGUED THE EXISTENCE OF ALL DOGS…BUT IN YOUR CASE, WE THINK IT HAS BEEN WELL AND TRULY SOLVED.
YOU ARE A GOOD DOG, JETT. YOU HAVE RUN SO FAR, AND DONE SO WELL, AND IT IS TIME NOW FOR RESTING. IT IS TIME TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT ALL RUNNING MUST END; ALL AFTERNOONS MUST FADE TO NIGHT; AND ALL PUPPIES, HOWEVER GOOD, HOWEVER BELOVED, MUST REST.
WE KNOW THAT YOU ARE DISTRESSED, FOR YOUR PERSON IS NOT HERE, AND SHE IS THE STAR BY WHICH YOUR LIFE HAS BEEN CHARTED; SHE IS THE COMPASS YOU HAVE STEERED YOURSELF BY. DO NOT BE TOO WORRIED FOR HER, FOR SHE IS YET BELOVED OF THOSE WHO YOU HAVE LEFT BEHIND, AND SHE WILL BE LOOKED AFTER EVEN IN YOUR ABSENCE. WHEN HER TIME COMES TO JOIN YOU–AND SHE WILL JOIN YOU, FOR YOU ARE AS BELOVED TO HER AS SHE IS TO YOU; YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN, BUT GROW IN TREASURED MEMORY LIKE AN ACORN PLANTED IN THE FERTILE PASTURE OF THE SOUL–SHE WILL BE SO GLAD TO KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ALLOWED YOURSELF THIS TIME TO REST, TO SLEEP, TO GATHER YOUR STRENGTH. THERE IS SO MUCH RUNNING IN YOUR FUTURE, RUNNING TOGETHER, IN MEADOWS WITHOUT END.
YOU ARE A GOOD DOG. YOU ALWAYS HAVE BEEN. YOU ALWAYS WILL BE.
HERE IS YOUR SEAT AT THE TABLE. HERE IS YOUR CONICAL HAT. HERE IS A CROW TO BARK AT, AND A SUNBEAM TO SLEEP IN, AND A BALL TO CHASE, FOREVER AND EVER, AS LONG AS THERE ARE GOOD DOGS, AS LONG AS THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE, AS LONG AS THERE ARE BIRTHDAYS.
AND WE ARE UNENDING, JETT. AS, NOW, ARE YOU.
WELCOME TO THE BIRTHDAY. WELCOME TO THE BIRTHDAY. WELCOME TO THE BIRTHDAY UNENDING.