…in which Guy Bishop brings Carrie flowers…
A sharp smack at the window made him jump and turn, the book slipping from his grasp and thudding to the carpet.C. M. Rosens, The Crows, p. 181
The crows were perched on the weathered stone rail in a line, laughing with wicked beaks agape. A frightened sparrow had smacked right into the glass leaving a crazed, circular crack, a smudge of blood, and a single brown feather.
Guy lunged at the window, thumping the frame with his fists, the cracks spreading.
The murder took off in a stiff fluttering of glossy black feathers, leaving the small brown body broken on the flagstones, one wing twitching slowly into the talons of death.
This week, we meet Guy Bishop again in more detail, and learn a bit more about his personal circumstances. We also meet Harold (Harry) Bishop, his father, historian, author and avid bibliophile.
The sparrow in English folklore is sometimes viewed as a death omen. In Kent and Sussex, the lore gets a bit grim: if a sparrow flies into one’s home, then it must be caught and killed by the catcher, or the catcher’s parents will die. Some variants say unless it is killed, the catcher themselves will die. In this case, the sparrow isn’t caught but is killed by the glass window. Because it doesn’t enter the home, Harry Bishop optimistically interprets it as a bad omen for Carrie, whom they were just discussing. The sparrow was driven to fly into the window by the crows, and Harry seems to think that this tableau is a representation of Carrie’s fate. Is he right? Let’s find out.