- Elizabeth Gomez
- Take that, flying rat.
It starts every spring with the first melting snow. The grass that grows up to the base of my building makes its first appearance, crusted and smothered by a winter’s worth of black-and-white guano. When I consider this, along with the hours of sleep lost to the weird carnal cooing that emerges from underneath the eaves in the early dawn, or the revolting gray down feathers that descend in front of my window when the flying rats groom each other, my blood boils.
In the winter I’ve tried lobbing snowballs at the roost; in the summer turning the garden hose on it when the birds return at sundown. But they always come back, fluttering, cooing, mocking. The final straw came this bright and sunny Sunday, as I returned home after an idyllic afternoon spent foraging for goose eggs along the banks in River Park. Before I could turn the key in the door, I felt a warm, wet splat on the edge of my head, and in an instant a trail of goo stretched to my shoulder and down the front of my jacket.
The sorts of people who claim this is good luck are the Neville Chamberlains of urban survival. I’ve been known to seek culinary solutions to problems caused by urban wildlife. The time had come to widen the circle of life.