Christopher Creek was the scene of mob violence this past week. It came in the form of a vigilante committee hell bent on exacting their penitence from the focus of their wrath. It is unknown what crime had been committed or if the victim was guilty or innocent. More importantly, what was it that drove these brutal fiends to elect itself jury and executioner?
But, alas, the verdict had been handed down… immediate death by maiming. There was a great ruckus as the sentence was being carried out. They had their “man” cornered against a fence on a vacant lot down on lower Columbine. One by one, members of the mob came forward to exact vengeance. The poor recipient of the assault did his best to defend himself, but it looked as if eternity loomed.
Enter the witness for the defense. Having heard the commotion, the hero of this story came to investigate. Without hesitation he waded into the angry mob, scattering them. He then rescued their intended victim who cooperated fully.
What’s this all about, you’re saying. This can’t have happened. So, perhaps it’s time to flesh out our cast of characters in this tale. Sometime back we spoke of the literary references for a group of ravens one of which was, indeed, a jury. Twenty-five to thirty ravens made up the jury in this case. A juvenile great horned owl was the next cast member. It seems owls and ravens are mortal enemies. This hapless young owl had another disadvantage other than its youth.
This story’s hero is Steve Graham, longtime Creek resident. He brought the caged bird into the safety of his house. It was then he noted that the rescued young owl didn’t seem normal. He was also unsure if there were injuries suffered in the attack. The enraged ravens had surrounded the front entrance of the home, intent on recapturing their victim. Again, when Steve loaded the cage into the back of his vehicle the angry birds gathered and followed him as he crossed the car wash on the way to town.
He delivered the owl to a wildlife rescue facility in Payson. After he related the details of the events they overcame their consternation about his capturing a wild animal. The examination revealed that the juvenile was dehydrated and was suffering from an illness which was probably “drought related.” We would sincerely question that diagnosis as our little owl that is just about a year old has lived his entire life in a period of above average moisture.
The Payson rescue facility subsequently shipped the juvenile great horned to another agency in the Valley for further diagnosis and treatment.
That would be the end of this shocking story, which has rocked our little mountain community but for this personal note. Where is the moral condemnation? Why have charges not been brought against the perpetrators of this outrage? Is it because these ravens are exempt from the laws of the land? Are not those who are charged to protect and defend that document which is the foundation of our great country supposed to enforce all the laws not just those which make for political expedience? Our voices must be heard!
We had an omen that it was going to be a bad day for the Denver Broncos when we spotted five robins at Gary and Marge Anderson’s. What else could it mean?
Our Karen Thornton, who heads up the one-person invitation committee, has announced the 12 venues that will tout their wares at the 2014 Payson Library Taste of Rim Country. The annual March fund-raiser will feature Rim Country Health and Retirement, Sweet Shoppe, Payson Senior Center, Dimi Espresso Café, the Randall House, Miss Fitz’s 260 Café, Ayothaya Thai & Sushi Café, the Pinon Café (formerly the Knotty Pine), the Payson High School Culinary Club and Gerardo’s Firewood Café. Participants stand a better chance as there are no entries from the Creek and Kohl’s Ranch this year!
Arizona’s territorial newspapers quite often used exuberant verbosity and great exaggeration when covering a story of little or no import. They’re reasoning was twofold: first, it was a method to charge up the local citizenry and secondly, it offered them opportunity to reaffirm the newspaper’s political bent. The owl and raven story had nothing to do with that, however. It was penned just hours after the fever broke… the fever that kept me bedfast for the three days prior! We will attempt to make the necessary improvements for next week.
Today, the high will be 72 degrees here in the Creek… at nearly 6,000 feet… in the Arizona mountains… in the middle of February. You just can’t make this stuff up! Apologies are therefore extended to the other 80 percent of the nation with snow on the ground… and that’s another week in the Creek.