The cry of the hawk, reaching my ears even through the closed windows of my house, reminds me instantly of my grandparent’s house.
My grandfather built his house on the side of a tall, tall hill, at the end of a street, at the edge of the woods.
My sister and I would climb up the grassy hill, and run down it, screaming like the little girls that we were. My parents and grandparents would sit outside on the large wooden deck watching us. Once, I stared screaming in more of a scared way than an excited way. I saw a black snake slithering in the grass. He was going sideways as I was going down.
The trail in the woods led to a little creek that trickled here and there. The water was always icy cold, even in the summer. Further on, an old abandoned car rusted away. My sister and I always wondered how a car could get into the middle of the woods and be forgotten.
And always, by the grassy meadow or up on the hill, I would hear the cry of a hawk.
This summer, we often spotted a small hawk in our suburban yard. Because of its striped tail feathers, we think it is a Cooper’s Hawk. He is small, and seems to be rather foolish. We saw him once chase a squirrel, with no chance of actually catching it. The nest he built for his mate was rather flimsy. Twigs kept falling down to the ground and an actual, solid nest never materialized.
Just the other morning, I heard his shrill hawk cry again. Fierce and independent sounding, not foolish at all.
I hope that hawk is growing more mature, so he can start doing his job around here and catch those dang mice.