We were pretty pumped – finding another new walk; this one being an old connector road between two main roads and long blocked off.

The road was pot-holey and chunky with age. Vegetation along the sides seems determined to eat through the pavement and one day meet. Along one side of the road the land rose and fell as rock walls mixed with pockets of mini forests. In some spots the water-dripping mossy rock walls rose twenty feet. Then the land would flatten out and trees from both sides arched overhead and met in gloomy canopies.

Those trees, on the other side of the road, with their branches covered in long beards of pale lichen, formed a scraggly wall letting in glimpses of a steep bare hill behind.

Or so we thought.

Man-wonder finally figured out we were looking at the back hillside of the local dump. Sorry—waste management facility.  And, even though the backside hasn’t been touched for years, and is rumored to become a walking park one day, it put a little creep in our walk. It had me trying not to imagine what new life forms might be lying in the murky muddy creek below that mountain of waste . . .

And it was just about then when the creep ramped up a notch.

A raven jumped out from behind a small boulder. He gave a raspy kwok-ing cry and starting this weird fluttery hop staying just ahead of us as we walked. Every dozen or so hops it would stop and turn one beady black eye back at us like it was saying, “Well, come on, keep up.”

“Hanzel and Gretel?” I side-mouthed to Man-wonder.

“You think we should hold hands and skip?” Man-wonder side-mouthed back.

In truth I guess it was an old garbage eating raven unable to fly anymore and coming to the end of its life and probably more nervous of us than we of it.

Still. . .

The fading sun stopped us from reaching the end of the road. Of course, as we hustled back the sky behind the trees was turning a vibrant Halloween orange, making the trees look blacker, their branches twisting into evil shapes. And, it really didn’t help when we realized the raven has disappeared without us realizing it..

But I knew it was there, somewhere, watching us—I could feel it. . .

Yeah, that’s a road to leave alone.

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