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Andrew Vachss

Yesterday at 1:41 PM

Alfred Hitchcock was one of those crow-raven hybrids you see around this piece of the coast all the time—too big for a crow, but without that classic thick raven’s beak. He had a white streak along one side of his head, like the fire-scar a bullet leaves when it just kisses you on the cheek as it goes by.

It was Dolly who named him Alfred Hitchcock. “Look how he walks,” she said to me one day, pointing out behind the house. “See how dignified he is? He just paces back and forth, like he’s deep in thought.”

I realized he did kind of look like that famous profile of Alfred Hitchcock, especially the way his head wobbled when he walked. Dolly had names for all the creatures who came to visit, and you could tell she thought about each and every one before she finally decided what to call them.

One day, I was out on the deck by myself, testing some new optics I was putting together, when Alfred showed up. He watched me from his perch on the shed for a long time before he finally dropped into the yard and started his walk.

“Alfred!” I called to him, but he just ignored me.

When Dolly came out later, I told her what happened. “His name is Alfred Hitchcock,” Dolly said. “Not ‘Alfred.’ He’s a very dignified bird.”

When he came back a few days later, we were both outside. “You try it,” Dolly insisted.

“Alfred Hitchcock!” I called.

And damned if the bird didn’t stop his walk and cock his head, like he was waiting. I tossed him a peanut. He slowly strolled over, picked it up, very dignified, and lofted himself back to the shed. Dolly and I watched him eat the peanut.

It was a fine moment.

полет ворона.jpg

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