Wednesday, February 8, 2023

The Disappearing Bird


Have you seen this Hawk?

It’s missing.

MISSING!  Our RHHS birthday hawk is missing! If anyone has information about where he went or with whom please contact:

The Hawk is the symbol/mascot of River Hill High School. This particular large wooden hawk stands at the entrance to the school, easily visible to passersby on Clarksville Pike/Route 108. For a donation, you can have birthday wishes to your student posted along with the Hawk on their special day. Essentially, the Birthday Hawk is an ongoing fundraising program run by the RHHS Boosters. 

Surprise your child with a SPECIAL BIRTHDAY GREETING! The Birthday Hawk greets everyone at the entrance of the school. You can rent the Birthday Hawk to send a special message to your child. All proceeds go directly to the RHHS Boosters program.

More than an announcer of birthdays - - or a generator of funds - -  the Birthday Hawk is a familiar landmark on the way into school each day. It’s a part of the scenery. It belongs there.

I wonder how long it took before someone noticed it was missing?

It was there on Friday, February 3rd. And then?

Our River Hill High School Boosters & PTSA Birthday hawk has gone missing. It was taken after last week’s basketball game. If you have seen it, please reach out. No questions asked, we just want it returned. It belongs to the Boosters and is very costly and time consuming to replace. If you know who has it, please reach out to them and ask for it to be returned. 


It was taken after last week’s basketball game.

On Friday, February 3rd River Hill boys’ basketball team played Reservoir. At River Hill. And River Hill won, 57-54. 

The next day the Birthday Hawk was missing.

This has all the earmarks of a teen prank. Of course that's not enough information to be one hundred per cent sure, but…I can certainly imagine it:

Determined adolescents, under cover of darkness, spiriting away what they see as the symbol of their rival’s athletic teams. Perhaps they put it in the back of someone’s pickup truck, hidden under a tarp. Maybe right now it’s in someone’s basement or garage and unsuspecting parents have no idea. 

Yes, it’s private property. Yes, it should be returned as soon as possible. But, frankly, in a time where high school stories so often include reports of racist graffiti, lockdowns for fear of active shooters, drugs, bullying, or mental health crises, a missing Birthday Hawk feels refreshingly normal, somehow.

I’m willing this story with all my might to be the kind of innocent hijinks that are free from destruction, defacement, or any other kind of harm. Let it be one of those, “some day we’ll look back on this and laugh” moments in River Hill history.

But I like the Birthday Hawk. It belongs back in its rightful place, greeting visitors at the entrance to the school campus. Give it back, guys. Bring it home.

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