The scarecrow has a history that goes back thousands of years to the very beginnings of human agriculture. Somebody, or, something had to keep the birds and other pests out of the gardens and fields. Originally small children guarded the newly planted seeds and protected the developing crops. By about 3000BC at least some of that important work was taken over by artificial guards and the scarecrow was born.
Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe was the first English novel to use the term “scarecrow”. The main character, as a discouragement, shoots several birds and then hangs them in rows, such as English prisoners, to frighten other birds away from his corn. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Feathertop and L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are two more well known examples of scarecrows in literature.
My scarecrows serve more than one purpose. First, and I am most definitely NOT the only local person to notice that we have many, many more black birds this year than ever before. Everybody is complaining that the black birds are eating all the birdseed out of their feeders and chasing all the other birds away. (I would be interested to hear from readers if they too have noticed an increase in black birds in their area.) This will, of course, translate to more birds digging up and eating newly planted seeds and, later in the year, more birds pecking at my precious “Maters”. Hopefully my two scarecrows will provide at least a base line level of protection from them.
The second purpose of my scarecrows is to piss off my neighbors.
My neighbor is a Minister who makes his living telling lies to little children. He tells them that they were born into a universe where even their thoughts can bring horrible punishments. He informs them that the entire universe runs on magic and that science isn’t to be trusted, but, the Bible is filled to the brim with unquestionable truths. He scares both little children and adults into submission with his well orchestrated bullshit. He uses groups of people who don’t agree with him as scapegoats for the ills of the world and holds out the promise of never, ever, really having to die if you only do things and think things “his way”. Scientifically speaking one can both safely and accurately say that he is full of shit. The scarecrow you see pictured above is about 15 feet from his back door, facing his house. It is my second scarecrow of the year. My third and forth scarecrows will be male and female. I plan to have them perpetually wrapped in a lovers embrace and fornicating wildly on top of the fence. There is just no telling where all this might end.