There was no public announcement, no obituaries in the newspaper, yet somehow they knew. They began arriving almost immediately, from north and south, east and west.
Within a couple minutes, two hundred or more ravens, already dressed in funerary black , arrived at the site where two of their kindred had fallen. From all over the city they came, their obsidian eyes missing nothing, not even the smallest morsel, but they would not be distracted.
One of their kind lay on the frozen ground, the other snagged high up on the power pole where the devious electricity had jolted the spark from its brain and the beat from its heart.
Around and around and around, an eddy of coal-black mourners circled the place where the two lay forever still. Some perched somberly in trees. Nearby, the two-legged types that discard fried potatoes and ice cream wrappers and half-eaten sandwiches watched the spectacle, and began to think of ravens in a different way.
Then, their farewells concluded, the dozens of raven departed, back to their hard-scrabble life of searching for sustenance on the city streets and parking lots, the snow-covered tundra, and the frozen taiga of Fairbanks, Alaska.
(Note: basis for this story was an item in the Anchorage Daily News, Nov. 23, 2009: “Ravens form a wake-like gathering after 2 electrocuted” by Tim Mowry, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via Associated Press)