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But we have a new plan. The light is failing and it’s very quiet. There is no sign of Carl or Jerry. I am going to visit the loo, arm myself with a broom, and step outside to see if Jerry can be located.

Incidentally I want to verify the corpse in the fence. If it was indeed Jerry I don’t know whether or not I’ll be relieved?

All right. My mission is reconnaissance. Objective 1 is to locate Jerry the Crow. Objective 2 is to get a visual on the fence corpse. I will go armed with a broom and have visited the loo.

If there is a rule in these situations it is ALWAYS WEAR SHOES. But only slightly less well-known is, ALWAYS PEE BEFORE RECON MISSIONS.

Okay, things were deadly quiet, but then my daughter and I noticed a skinny crow on a high branch, watching the deck balefully.

We argued about whether it was Carl or Sandra or even Jerry.

We decided Carl was bigger and meaner, so this HAD to be Sandra or maybe Jerry. If it was Jerry we were going to be super relieved but it still didn’t answer the Corpse Question.

I crept out onto the deck with the broom handy. Maybe-Sandra started to yell Jerry’s name. Then Carl showed up, and did the same.

And—look, you are not going to believe this.

I heard music.

I stood stock still for what felt like forever with two crows yelling at me, trying to figure out if I was hallucinating.

This happens more often than you might think.

I finally decided the yelling crows did not seem disposed to active warfare, and I motioned my daughter out onto the deck.

At first she couldn’t hear it. She had an earbud in because she was listening to podcasts while doing Jerry Watch duty.

At first she couldn’t hear it because the crows were yelling. Then she turned her podcast off and DID hear it.

Music. And applause.


But she heard it too.

We think maybe there’s a sporting event or outdoor concert at the elementary school.

Maybe-Sandra and Carl are still yelling.

The recon mission is aborted. We beat a hasty retreat.

Boxnoggin started screaming out the front window and I almost had a heart attack.

But it was only Buddy.

Buddy lives up the street with his humans. Buddy is a very tiny dog. Buddy hates everyone and everything but his humans.

Boxnoggin desperately longs to make Buddy’s acquaintance.

Anyway, Buddy is on his walk with his humans, Boxnoggin is very unhappy because HIS humans will not let him have any fun, Maybe-Sandra is perched on a dead branch, Carl is somewhere, and we can’t verify Jerry.

And I have doubted my sanity multiple times in the past hour and a half. I mean, even more than usual?

There is no sign of Jerry but Jerry could simply have the good sense and decency to be hiding somewhere.


My daughter says this is the most interesting night we’ve had in a while.

It’s quiet again. I’m going to go check on the Jerry Watch 2021 Situation. If I don’t come back, Carl probably got me.


Jerry is still alive. Jerry seems unable to fly though there’s a lot of wing-flapping. My daughter advanced the notion that Jerry might just be a prima donna?

Sandra is keeping watch over Jerry. We were unsure about Carl. We discussed the box Jerry will need, which I will put on the table with a towel in the bottom and some water and some sunflower seeds.

At this point my daughter asked “what if a raccoon found Jerry?”

“I don’t think a raccoon will be interested?”

“Maybe Jerry will start yelling and the raccoon will go away?”

“One problem at a time."

But now my daughter is INVESTED in Jerry, while I point out that I am already going above and beyond in this Jerry situation, ESPECIALLY with a fence-corpse involved. Raccoons are outside my remit.

I was heading back to my office to update you lot when my daughter yelled “THERE’S CARL!” So of course I let out a yelp and booked it back down the hall.

Carl is in the road. Carl is…in the road.

We think Sandra told Carl to take a break and Carl is upset over Jerry and looking for food, maybe? In…in the road?

So, just to catch up, we have Jerry the Possibly Injured Crow, Carl and Sandra watching him, confused dogs, a UPS truck, Buddy from up the street, and music plus crowd noise from apparently nowhere.

…are you guys bored? I feel like this isn’t interesting to anyone but us and here I am clogging your timeline. BUT TOO BAD, I PAID FOR THIS INTERNET AND I’M GONNA USE IT


So I have sworn

(This may be, incidentally, why I have so few friends. This sort of thing happens A LOT.)

Okay. I am going to hydrate before planning and attempting another recon mission to assess the full depth of the Jerry Watch 2021 Situation.

Hydration AND peeing before recon missions are BOTH vital.

It’s not quite dark yet, but it’s getting darker. Jerry may not have a lot of time. And I really need the fence-corpse question settled.



So my son came out of his room for a snack (he’s been swearing at CSGO I guess?) and we had to update him on Jerry, Carl, Sandra, Buddy, the music from nowhere, and all this.

…it took a while.

So I dragged him to the back door and WE HAD A JERRY SIGHTING.

Sandra is still up in the branches keeping watch. Carl appeared, fluffed up and very agitated. Jerry is still in the northwest corner, flapping and hopping.

And my son asks, “Is that Tom Hiddleston?”

He’d seen a squirrel taunting Carl on the fence. It must be genetic, because now we have named the squirrel Tom Hiddleston because…reasons, okay?

ANYWAY. My son has sworn his flashlight to the Jerry Rescue Operation, which will proceed once the light fails enough that reconnaissance can be done.

(I am surprised to see a squirrel out this late but the way things are going…)


So, as soon as dusk gets thick enough I will be looking for a possibly wounded, flightless crow. In the dark. And also attempting to verify the fence-corpse situation.

Also, several small birds—chickadees? Maybe? I’m no ornithologist?—are VERY INTERESTED in the northeast corner. I am unsure if they are cheering Jerry on or just interested in the possible fence-corpse?

BUT! My son reports that he has heard the music for the past few evenings, possibly coming from the elementary school. So the hallucinatory musical soundtrack of the Jerry Watch Situation 2021 has now been explained.

Nothing can explain the rest of this bullshit, especially the fence-corpse (which may or may not have been Jerry), but at least we’ve got the music sorted.

I was going to attempt to lure Carl and Sandra away with oyster crackers but my daughter argued against that plan because Carl is so deeply worried about Jerry.

Now we’re just waiting for it to get dark enough for the rescue operation. I just checked the weather app. Sunset isn’t until 8:58PST.

Carl is perched in the dogwood.

The dogwood is in the northeast corner. It is, along with the possibly-dead oak sapling, the closest tree to the Jerry Situation, as well as the possible fence-corpse.

Tom Hiddleston has disappeared (squirrels tend to go to bed early) and there is no sign of Sandra. The humans in the house are preparing for the mission in their own ways.

ANYWAY, the oyster cracker plan was nixed because my daughter doesn’t want to be responsible for whatever injuries may occur. Allies can be difficult. Eisenhower never had to deal with this shit.

Today has been exciting. I’m worn out but I can’t rest until Jerry is in a nice raccoon-proof box and I have verified the fence-corpse or lack of it.

I can hear Carl yelling even from my office.

So, once it gets dark enough that Carl and Sandra can’t see us, my son will hold the flashlight, I will take point with the broom, and my daughter will hang back ready to cover our retreat.

Objective 1 is to locate Jerry. Objective 2 is to verify the fence-corpse or lack of it. Both objectives lie in the northwest corner of the yard and can ideally be reached in the same trip.

The dogs are both sacked out, exhausted. I need to go downstairs and get the Jerry box prepped.

What we’ll do if Jerry doesn’t want to stay in the box…Jesus. One problem at a time.

All right. We have found a Jerry box.

There was discussion of whether Jerry needed a studio or a condo.

We have decided on a Jerry condo (a largish Amazon box that came back from the coast bearing seedlings last weekend) because it needs room for: Towel, water source, food, and (hopefully) Jerry the Crow.

Right now the biggest concern is that Jerry might not want his new condo.

It fact, the planners have advanced the idea that Jerry might be a bit of an asshole about this whole deal.

If Jerry’s spend the entire evening in the corner of the yard near a fence-corpse, Jerry might in fact be a bit peeved. Or if Jerry was stuffed in the fence and only recently emerged, he can’t be in a very good mood.

Either way, whether he was the corpse or near it, Jerry might be in what we call a bit of a mood.

I should have bought hockey gear. But how in the hell could I have known THIS would happen?

Any eye protection I wear is going to cut down on my Jerry- and corpse-spotting ability, despite the torches both kids will be carrying.

This is a quandary, but I’m fully committed to this operation and have to accept the chance of casualties.

As long as the kids stay well back, and Jerry or the corpse doesn’t go for them, we might conceivably get through Jerry Watch Situation 2021 without any injuries. And in the morning I can approach the Question of Jerry.

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