In Every Bite Of Chicken
by Terry Black
"They say it means death," said Professor Wellington Church, nodding skyward. "When the raven flies over you."
Brooke Peplin munched a chicken wing. "Superstitious now, are we?"
"Not at all." Church watched the bird wheel to the south, riding the air like an invisible sea. "I assure you, Miss Peplin, my dread is purely science-based."
"The bird's going to kill us?"
"No. The bird will watch while something else does."
Peplin shrugged, thinking, Go ahead, Professor. I’m a psych major, I've seen crazier folks than you.
"Birds are dinosaurs," said Church.
"People say the dinosaurs went extinct. They didn't. When that asteroid slammed into the Yucatán Peninsula, it only killed most of them. The rest became the birds. They say there's a little T. Rex in every bite of chicken."
Peplin smiled. "Well, we're doing the eating."
"For now." Church smiled. "Did you know the dinosaur extinction wasn't the worst in history? Eons earlier, the Permian-Triassic Extinction killed ninety-five percent of earth’s species."
"Nope. Volcanoes put tons of carbon in the atmosphere. Warmed the planet, wrecked the climate, flooded the air with sulfides and methane. Killed almost everything."
"What's that have to do with ravens?"
"They grew out of an extinction. They survive when others die." Church folded back the morning Herald to reveal the headline, COPENHAGEN TALKS STALLED. “In the end, the birds win.”
"Are you saying—"
"I'm not saying anything." Church offered her the chicken basket. "Like some extra-crispy? Hurry, while it lasts."