On December 29th there was a hawk in the tree outside my window. I had been awake for about ten minutes and was standing next to my bed, kind of deciding if I should make coffee and check my email or the other way around, but still 80 percent in the dreamworld and only having a really vague idea of who or what I was. I saw movement through the window, which I was not really looking at, but it focused me enough to see it, the hawk, which had just landed on a branch of the fir tree and was still bobbing a little, and with a small animal pinned in its talons.

It was a Cooper’s hawk. I checked on the internet. Someone later suggested that it might have been an osprey. I took this suggestion with some odd offense, considering. It was a hawk, I said. A Cooper’s hawk. For some reason this struck me as a crucial detail, that it be a hawk. I don’t know about birds, so I don’t know if it’s true that an osprey is kind of like a discount version of a hawk, like a fake Versace bag, or the less-pretty Olson twin. It’s hard to pinpoint why it makes a difference. I mean, seeing an osprey in the tree outside my window, in Little Italy, in urban Montreal, would be a pretty special event, a once-in-a-lifetime occurance, if I hadn’t already seen a hawk. I imagine if I ever see an osprey now it will feel a little overdone.
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