It was Patrick’s raven. For years, it was sitting in front of Patrick’s window, calling loudly when it was hungry. Patrick fed it and tamed it. He got to learn about the raven’s preferences – the raven adored sausage. And if Patrick gave it something else to eat, the clever bird flew away and returned with the rest of old sausage and dropped it on Patrick’s window pane. Just to show what it wants. It also adored Mozart – when Patrick played Mozart, the bird entered the apartment and started dancing, making funny moves with its head. During summers, Patrick placed a bog bowl of water outside of his window and the raven would enjoy its swimming pool. Minka and Marcus, who both live beneath Patrick, often complained that the raven shits on their terraces, but we all loved the bird. It became a part of the Laudonplace family.

And then few months ago, we were eating brunch in Patrick’s place as we heard the birds screaming outside. We ran to the window – to see Patrick’s raven having sex. Patrick was extremely shocked because for years, he was sure that his raven was a female. Now we all knew that it definitely was not.

And then the raven and his girlfriend started building a nest. They built a nest on the big tree in front of my window. My desk is placed in front of the window so while I was working on my book and my articles, I looked at them working on their nest. I liked them more each day. I watched them fight with too big branches and trying to break them into manageable pieces. The ravens often made me contemplate life and how simple it actually is and that it is nothing but a question of survival and creating new generations. They made me think about what is really important in life. Was all this philosophical bullshit I was typing into my computer really important? Shouldn’t I also rather be building a nest with someone?

They built a fantastic nest surprisingly quickly. I continued working and they continued coming and going until one always stayed in the nest. It was clear that they protected their eggs. Few weeks ago, as my mom was here we noticed little birds’ heads peaking out of the nest. Laudonplace family grew and we were all happy about it.

Few nights ago, we had a big storm. I watched the nest and thought about how poor their little lives are. They were sitting in a wet nest, fighting the freezing wind and hoping not to get blown away. The following night was also stormy. I had troubles sleeping and at one point, I heard a bird scream in pain. And than something crashing on the ground. I knew a bird was dead. I just hoped it was not ours. Next morning, I told Marcus about the horror of the night before. He told me that that morning, there was a horrible scene in the court yard – it seems that one of the ravens fell and the neighbour’s dogs were attacking it. And then the other raven came and tried to protect its partner. The neighbour saw this and tried to scare the raven away with a broom. It was clear: one must have fell in a storm. The other got hurt while trying to protect it from the dogs and that was the one I heard die in the following night.

Today is the first day that the nest is empty. I have no clue what happened to the little ones.

I still hope that maybe, I am just inventing the whole thing and the whole family is on holidays in Burgenland.

Fuck life.