It’s a shame that birds always fly away when I walk nearby. Do they remember, somewhere in their unconscious hive-mind, that day at Mama’s house when I was 8 or 9 years old, taking her BB gun from its usual resting place, pointing it up in the tree and firing it for no other reason than I liked watching the dozens of resting, chatting, playing birds scatter to the four winds, never meaning any harm (was just making my own TV show of sorts), but eventually after doing this many times over the summer months I managed to hit one of the birds and it fell to its death, a BB-sized hole in its skull with its little brain exposed, lying still as a post on the stubble of grass of Mama’s yard a few feet from where I was standing? I’m not sure if I actually never touched a gun again after that, or if that’s just a story I tell myself as an adult because the moment has been, through active and sustained storytelling, loaded with a significance it may not have actually had in the present moment. But today, as I walk out onto a porch, or stroll through a forest, the birds always fly away, the fear of a million deadly encounters with humans, including this human, etched in their DNA. It’s kind of sad to think that this is evolution.