There's that lady that I beg a meal from each morning. I know she sees me.
"Hey you," I tell her. "Don't avoid my gaze; I'm not a worthless vagabond searching for another meal. Can't you hear me?"
She's ignoring me. Oh wait, there's another guy, I'll follow this morning marauder ... always in a hurry to go somewhere.
Why are these people in such a hurry? They should stop and smell the dog doo... like I doo each morning. Where do these people go? The big buildings where the lights come on and the people rush in and out when they aren't asleep in their warm boxes. Not me. I'm a street marauder - a scavenger, staying up all day and all night foraging for a meal.
Another car. Another victim. Another person with a slim meal. "Hey you, what are you eating there? McDonalds? My favorite. Can you spare a bite? Come on, I'm hungry. I've got a mouth to feed too. Do you think I like hanging out here in the rain and harassing tourists and office workers waiting to get a bite from you? Come on, please. Just a bite."
"Oh great, why'd you throw it on the ground? Now it's getting wet. Loser! Is that all you can afford to feed me? You just toss it over your shoulder without looking back. Well it's dirty now and you expect me to fish it out of the rain puddle and eat it? Oh... Okay another bite? Oh, okay. Thanks ... "
Ahhhh ... McDonalds ... Fresh McMuffin ... my favorite."
Another quarry ... ah ... a friend is coming.
"Hey, didn't I see you already this morning? Yeah you, I'm still looking at you, you don't look like you've missed a meal lately... How about something to eat? Can't you see I'm hungry? Hey you, don't turn away from me. Why are you in such a hurry? You're going the wrong way. Are you trying to avoid me? Oh, you forgot something in your car, did you? Or is that just a ploy to stop me from following you too close? Hey, you. Yeah you, I'm yelling at you. I'm starving. Don't you care?"
"Ignoring me, are you? Think I'm a bum with nothing better to do than harass you? Well I've got important things to do too. Oh come on. I'm hungry. My family is hungry. Don't shoo me. Don't tell me to get a job. This is my job!"
"That sure is a nice car. It looks like you make a lot of money. I'm certain you haven't skipped a meal recently have you? Yes, I am repeating myself. Come on, I'm hungry. I saw you eating that other muffin in your car this morning ... I know there's more food in there ... I can smell it. Come on, spare me a bite."
"Scraps? You throw me scraps... a stale sandwich? Sure, I'll be thankful. Thanks. Have a nice day, jerk."
A meal, finally. Ahhhhh. Finally. Finally I can relax and enjoy the morning. There's nothing like the smell of a tour ship in the morning.
Something's wrong. That sandwich was a little green. Ohhhh... . I don't feel so good. My stomach ... Oh no, that sandwich was bad. Oh no, I can't keep it in.
Poops I did it again!
Bulls Eye! Direct hit to his windshield. Sucker.
"Think of that, Mr. Stingy. Think of that tomorrow morning when I beg you from my perch for your sweet McMuffin. Think of me when you park under my light pole and feed me junk."
"Yes, I'm still yelling at you. I saw you look back. See you in the morning. I'll be right here on my pole when you pull up in your nice shiny car. I've got nothing better to do than hang out here and wait for you all day."
"That's my job and that's the price you pay to park here in my parking lot. You hear me mister? You'll bring me a McMuffin tomorrow morning if you know what's good for you."
This story is based upon true events. The actual conversation has been paraphrased to protect the guilty.
Alice Albrecht is a writer who has been published in local and national publications. The inspiration for this piece was a demanding, angry raven.
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