Saturday, February 18, 2006
Last night, as the wind howled through the church steeple, I watched The Birds. Alfred Hichcock's dramatization of Daphne Du Maurier's story casts our commonplace feathered friends in their most sinister light: winged terrorists with an anti-human agenda.
I now believe there is something terribly prescient in Hichcock's horror.
As the avian flu scare swells in many regions of the world, it is believed by some to be a harbinger of even greater evils hovering on the horizon of humanity's future.
A fowl's head was found inside a can of pinto beans in DeKalb, IL. As if that weren't scary enough, the lot number of the recalled cans is 5348 MF. Unreal.
Our Vice President was recently implicated in a threat to homeland security when an Al Quaeda cell, cleverly infiltrated in a flock of quail, duped him into shooting an attorney. Several of the quail were shipped off to Gitmo for interrogation, but this thing is far from over.
And now the birds have appeared on the Exorcist's doorstep. Literally.
On February 15, I opened the curtains in my bedroom and saw, by the door of the rectory two large roosters. One white, one red, both headless. They were laid out on either side of the steps with a border of pennies carefully arranged around them in the snow. No blood. No other message.
On February 16 I left the church in the early morning hours for a meeting downtown and later had a funeral and a burial. When I returned to the rectory at around 1 pm I found the head of the white rooster at the base of the gate that opens from the street to the front lawn. I did not see it earlier and I am sure it wasn't there the day before.
On February 17, fully expecting the red rooster's head to be nailed to the church door, I discovered instead, a meticulously placed row of red candy hearts on the bottom step of the rectory front porch.
What does all this portend for the Exorcist and his parish?
The birds know...