I found a dead hummingbird on the sidewalk of my office building Monday morning. It is embarrassing to admit how much the sight of an emerald-green corpse the size of my thumb affected me. After all, there are people in the greater world being raped, murdered and beheaded on a regular basis. There is something about something so rare and beautiful dying from a headlong impact with the window of a bastion of corporate America that has a whiff of augury.
Normally my bird of omen is the hawk. Many times, I have been considering a plan or idea and a hawk will appear as if Nature were giving me a thumb’s up. Most often, this a sparrowhawk. These little raptors have a magickal habit of hovering in mid-air while looking for tender mousies in the grass. That’s probably why they are called merlins.
There was one incident last week which I hope is a true omen of good luck. I was talking to my friend Sheldon about a project I had been working: a horror/comedy screenplay about killer squirrels. I had gotten halfway through it when I was shown a pitch trailer for Timur Bekmambetov’s “Squirrels”. If the director of “Wanted” and “Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter” was working on the same theme, mine would be dead in the water. But I had done some checking and found that there had been no activity since last summer. As far as I could tell, the project had gotten as far as the pitch trailer and no further. As I was driving along, Sheldon told me that he thought I should just buckle down and finish it, no matter what.
I was passing the MaConnell Arts Center at that moment. A large Red-tailed Hawk was standing in the front lawn. As far as I could tell, it was eating a squirrel.