Ravenous is a great word, don’t you think? There is something quite primal, urgent and debased about it. Or at least, that was its historical context but, at least outside of the bedroom, it is a word that has now attained some respectability and simply means very hungry. According to Mirriam-Webster, the noun “raven” (black bird) and the verb “raven” (from which the adjective “ravenous” is derived) are unrelated. They are homographs, which is a shame because I have a ravenous raven story. This is your chance, squeamish readers, to skip this story.
I should have realised it was Friday the 13th, when I went for a walk last Friday. The sky was blue but storm clouds were brewing in the distance. The atmosphere was unsettled. Ants scurried and the queens took flight.
I came across a conspiracy of Australian ravens. They flung themselves into the air, wheeling above my head, beaks agape to claim their insect prize.
Later, I thought I heard a butcherbird call but when I approached cautiously, it flew into a stand of trees. So I watched a currawong collecting sticks for a while. Some sixth sense or a commotion drew my attention to the distant trees where the butcherbird had fled. A raven had caught a bird.
I panicked and crept closer. The meal was well and truly dead.
Look at the size of that bird (your choice). Maybe I had consigned the butcherbird to lunch? I’m not sure where this forensic, morbid fascination came from to know more. Lunch could be a young butcherbird or perhaps a wattlebird? I don’t know and the raven didn’t say.
Anyway, I wasn’t the only one interested in the raven’s meal so it ate it very quickly.
So there you go.
The ravening raven cleaned his beak on the branch. Left no trace of his supper.
Take care, everyone.
Note about the photos:
The photos have been cropped to within a inch of their lives. I kept my distance so as not to disturb the raven when it was eating.