If peanuts were handshakes

About 8:30 Easter morning I left the house in pursuit of coffee. I’d barely gotten across the street when Ryuk fluttered down and lighted on his favorite sign post.

He’s the only crow of all of them who will make eye contact, and that’s what he did then, met my gaze and watched me stop and pat down the sides of my sweater.

He was after peanuts, of course, and I’d messed up and put on a sweater with no pockets instead of my usual jacket. I paused in front of the sign post, and we regarded one another, mutually realizing the transaction could not take place. I muttered an apology and walked quickly back to the house.

“What’s wrong?” T asked when I came back inside.

“He’s out there!” I said, grabbing a handful of peanuts from the bowl we keep by the door. I gestured outside past the fence, and sure enough Ryuk was still out there on the signpost.

T came to the doorstep and watched me prance down the steps and back across the street. I slowed down in my approach when I got close, not wanting to spook Ryuk, but he sat there patiently waiting for me.

I drew up next to the sign and held up a peanut to him, which he took firmly in his beak, gave me one more look and then flew away. Peanut crunching sounds crackled nearby.

I glanced back to T standing on the doorstep and did a little happy dance in the morning drizzle.


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