Me: (jogging Sunday morning)
Me: (almost home)
Me: (can’t wait for breakfast)
Me: (pancakes pancakes pancakes)
Me: (aw yeah)
Me: (and they’re that overnight-oat kind)
Me: (so they’re practically already made)
Me: (I just have to get home and fry those bad boys)
Me: (hungry hungry want them pancakes)
Me: …hang on what’s this now?
Bundle of feathers perched on the edge of the grassy median just ahead of me: hi
Me: Who’re you, buddy?
Me: omigosh are you a Cooper’s hawk?
Me: ‘Cause you look like a Cooper’s hawk.
Me: Except for the way you’re sitting which no offense makes you look more like a kiwi.
Me: The bird, not the fruit.
Me: Okay, it’s pretty weird that you’re just sitting there.
Me: I mean, I’m really not far from you at all.
Me: I’m not going to get too close for everybody’s sake, but still.
Me: I’d be happy to hang out with you all day, but you really shouldn’t be okay with this.
Me: Or that!
Me: Okay, either you’re next-level Buddhist or something’s really off here.
Another crow: DIVE-BOMB
First crow: WHY’S HE JUST SITTING THERE
Second crow: DON’T KNOW THAT WAS SOME OF MY BEST DIVING
First crow: YEAH IT WAS YOU LOOKED GREAT
Me: Okay, this is not how hawks are supposed to act.
Crows: TELL HIM THAT
Me: I’m trying!
Me: (edges a little closer)
Me: (edges a lot closer)
Me: (is like maybe ten feet from the hawk now)
First crow: OKAY THIS IS GETTING CREEPY
Second crow: YEAH WHATEVER’S WRONG WITH THAT GUY I DO NOT WANT TO CATCH IT
First crow: I’M OUT OF HERE
Second crow: SAME
Car: (drives by)
Car: (gets within four feet of hawk)
Me: Okay something’s gotta be wrong here.
Me: Some of your front feathers look a little weird and ruffly. Are you hurt? Did you get in a fight or something?
Me: Geez Louise. What should I do?
Me: I can’t tell from here if you’re hurt. And I can’t get any closer than this.
Me: But I can’t just go home.
Pancakes: WHERE AAAAAAARE YOU
Me: Not now!
Me: …okay, time to call for backup.
Me: (calls non-emergency number)
Nice calm female voice: Santa Monica dispatch!
Me: um yeah hi okay there’s a Cooper’s hawk right here and I think it might be hurt it’s not moving and I’ve been taking pictures and videos and stuff for like ten minutes now and I’m barely ten feet away from it and wild birds aren’t usually into that kind of thing
Dispatch: …I’m sorry?
Me: (oh gawd I hate phone calls)
Me: What I just said, only more succinctly this time.
Dispatch: …okay, there’s a what?
Me: A hawk. A Cooper’s hawk.
Me: We get a lot of them in this neighborhood.
Me: They have to kind of sneak around, given how territorial the crows get.
Me: But they mostly eat squirrels and we have a LOT of squirrels around here so I guess it’s worth the fight.
Me: This one’s still pretty young, given the coloration on its front and the –
Dispatch: Okay, it’s a hawk. Got it.
Me: (damn you, hyperverbalism)
Dispatch: And where are you?
Me: (peers around)
Me: (manages to read street signs without glasses)
Me: (passes geographical information along)
Dispatch: Okay, Animal Control isn’t open today, but I can tell a Humane Society vehicle what’s going on. Not sure when they’ll be able to get there.
Me: That’s great. Thank you.
Me: (thinks about what happened the last time a Sunday jog turned into hey who’s that cool animal sitting in the middle of the road)
Me: (realizes odds are against pet adoption being the outcome this time)
Me: (keeps fingers crossed)
Me: (looks down to hang up phone)
Me: (for literally less than a second)
Me: (looks up again)
Me: (hawk is GONE)
Me: (IT WAS THERE THE WHOLE TIME I WAS ON THE PHONE)
Me: (LIKE I’M GLAD IT’S OKAY BUT SERIOUSLY IT COULDN’T HAVE FLOWN AWAY THREE SECONDS AGO?)
Me: Well, that was a morning.
Me: …oh, gawd, I have to call them back.
Me: I DON’T WANNA
Me: I HATE TALKING ON THE PHONE
Me: I ALWAYS EITHER CLAM UP FOR A HUNDRED YEARS OR SAY THE WHOLE ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITTANICA
Me: Plus I will literally physically die of embarrassment if I have to tell that woman oopsy doopsy never mind hawk be fine.
Me: And those pancakes aren’t going to make themselves!
Me: I mean they mostly are but I do have to put them in the pan!
Me: So I’ll just go home and pretend this never happened.
Basic Courtesy: WHAT
My Conscience: SAY
Me: geez way to gang up on someone who was just trying to be nice to a hawk
Me: okay okay I’ll call them back
Me: (calls Dispatch back)
Me: (does not die of embarrassment)
Dispatch: (is totally cool with this new information)
Me (hanging up): Whew!
Me: (jogs rest of way home)
Me: Hey – wait till you hear what I just did.
Me: But first I’m making pancakes.