Tuesday May 1 2007
From the Raven's owner:
OK people, the Raven was just a piece of black cloth sewn together to look like a silly black bird, with a crooked beak to boot, but really, I’m still gutted. I still can’t believe I lost the Raven. And I just don’t understand what happened.
I realized I’d lost it within 5 minutes at the most, and I retraced my steps - over and over and over. It was either in the hostel or on the street within 1 block that I lost it. I don’t know if it fell out of my little bag, or someone nicked it - it just disappeared. It doesn’t really make sense, because why would anyone in the hostel take it (backpackers are usually good about returning things), and why would anyone on the street snatch it, or even pick it up if it fell out of my bag (well, on second thought, it was so cute and happy, who wouldn’t). As soon as I realized it was gone, I had immediately run back along the street looking for it, then thought maybe I hadn’t had it with me after all; I ran to my room and in a panic threw everything out of my suitcase, looking for a black Raven, but as everything flew in the air out of my bag - no Raven.
I scoured the hostel over and over; I walked the street up and down the block till it got dark, and after dark. I probably looked like a hooker (though I was underdressed for that), or like one of the homeless hanging around there (overdressed for that) since I was looking in garbage cans. I walked in every café and asked; I looked under tables, in trees (in case someone with a sense of humor stuck it up there), in corners, everywhere. I walked down the street an extra block, in case a fast traveling bus ran over it and carried it a ways. I even asked a cop walking about, and he looked at me funny, a strange American traveling with a dead stuffed raven. No, no, I said, it’s a stuffed animal bird, a puppet. He looked at me just as strange and said No, haven’t seen it. There was a little police beat station there; I stopped in there twice that night, and once the next morning, and by now I think they were about to get the handcuffs out.
And you know how when you can’t find something and you keep looking, and then the 7th time you go through the same bag you swear you’ve thoroughly gone through 6 times and suddenly there it is - I kept going back to my room and going through my things again and again, hoping the Raven would be there.
Nothing. I was just stunned. Just couldn’t believe it. Still can’t.
I’d been texting Trevor, and he sent a 1 minute of silence tribute (i.e. blank text) for the Raven.
I’ve had that Raven since about 1999 (OK, whoever still has a teddy bear from their youth, fess up), and it had done over 2700 endurance miles with me, it had been to many National Parks, and it climbed peaks, including Mt Whitney (it signed the log book!) , and it was the first thing I saw when I woke up in the hospital after a bad accident, smiling at me with its crooked jaws like everything was going to be alright eventually. But really, it was just a piece of black cloth, right?
I’ve had loads of condolences J, offers to help me find a new Raven (one friend immediately looked on eBay and found a different little raven), a call from D’Arcy the Raven’s biggest fan to 1.6 million people in Brisbane to help find the Raven, and Floyd not only offered to look in Lee Vining where I got the original Raven, but he stopped by there, enlisted the employee’s help in the search, and left his credit card there in case the guy found one. It’s actually not made anymore and hasn’t been for years. I guess I can always travel with the new little Raven I got off eBay (yes, I got it immediately, it’s waiting for me in the States), and start some new Raven antics, but, it just won’t be the same.