he wold com to my hows top in the shape of a crow, or lyk a dear or in any uther shap now and then, I wold ken his woice at the first heiring of it, and wold goe forth to him and hav carnall cowpula[tio]n w[i]th him
[Scottish witch Isobel Gowdie, of the Devil (1662)]
For just a moment, I thought that somehow I'd driven onto a set from Hitchcock's The Birds.
Sunset, Christmas Eve 2000. In the stillness of the Yule-frith, the only things moving were me and the stoplights, as I drove to work in downtown Minneapolis.
And the crows. Thousands of crows, literally, filling the trees that lined Park Avenue. Hundreds, raucous black fruit, in each tree, silhouetted against the sunset sky.