Corpse Disposal

Life has gotten incredibly busy for me lately.  I am now living in Baltimore, MD, USA working at a pretty intense summer camp.  I regularly work 16 hour days and have rather little time to myself–hence no updates as of yet.  I will get caught up on writing about Georgia, that I promise.

I’m writing from my work computer and, as such, have no pictures available to me at the moment.  Instead, I’ll regale you with a story of what I did this weekend!

Full Disclosure: There’s a lot I’m not gonna talk about.  It’s far less interesting than living abroad (at least to the outside observer), and I’m still working with kids.  Besides, you don’t want a rundown of the Dance, the Mystery, the Movie Night, and the Color Wars.  They’re all well and good, but they’re not the reason any of you are interested in this.

No, I’m going to focus on a minor detail from the weekend: Corpse Disposal.

You read that right, and no, it’s not a metaphor.  I’ve literally disposed of more than one corpse this weekend.  Now, many of you know that this is not the first time I’ve dealt with death on this blog.  Nor will it be the last.  Okay, so maybe it will.  Who can say?

Here’s some backstory.  Here on the Johns Hopkins University Campus we have a resident Hawk.  It has been swooping down into the gardens and snatching up rats and mice and squirrels and bunny rabbits each day to feed itself.  There are lots of rodents around and so I’m not worried about this hawk going hungry.  I am worried about its hunting skills.  It’s dropped some squirrels before and an RA and I saw it swoop right into a wall the other day.  Keep trying Hawk and one day you too will be talented.

Yesterday during the Mystery Activity children discovered the carcass of a squirrel near the base of a tree.  I’m not sure if the Hawk was to blame, but regardless, the children naturally wanted to play with it.  One suggested keeping it “as a pet” while others threw sticks and rocks at it.  Flies buzzed busily around the rodent, taking flight with each new rain of projectiles only to settle again once the danger had passed.

Obviously, this could not stand!  (Neither could the squirrel, what with being dead and all!  ZING!)  I tromped back to the office and got two plastic bags.  I returned, having asked an RA to guard the body and prevent kids from disturbing the crime scene.  I poop-scooped the poor squirrel and delivered it to a trash can.  It was a lot heftier than I expected (There’s a pun hidden in there!) and I chucked it in with a thud.

This morning, as I left the dining hall, a female RA shouted down to me from above.  “Raughley!” she cried, “There’s a dead bird up here!”

“On it.” I replied.  Back to the office to grab another bag.  When I arrived, I found a tiny baby bird splattered in the center of the sidewalk.  It must’ve fallen from somewhere.  I suspect the Hawk had tried to make off with it and dropped it, as there were no nests anywhere nearby.

This one was gooey.  I plucked it off the ground and wrapped its tiny body in the plastic before disposing of it.  Burial at sea wasn’t an option (nor was it desirable, since birds don’t probably want that for their young), so I found another garbage can to act as coffin, sarcophagus, and tomb all in one.  (The plastic bag acted as a shroud, so fear not, my dear funeral-enthusiasts!)

So there you have it!  My exciting summer at an academic camp and I’ve disposed of bodies on two consecutive days!  I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!


PS- Reminds me of Season Five of Dexter.  Anyone?


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