This is a story about crows and choice. Our crows. That’s the key to the story, we had to accept that they were our crows.
We feed birds, lots of birds, and that included allowing the crows to eat the suet I hang out for what I considered prettier birds.
For a few years we had a nice couple who came to our feeder. I thought it was lovely that they lived in our meadow. I enjoyed them. It was kinda cute. I liked to pretend that they were my friends and they liked me.
But, one year I got ticked off at them. It seemed as if they had brought their friends and they were noisy, big, and took huge bites. It seemed wrong somehow when my daintier birds, IE smaller birds, didn’t eat quite so much and were not so noisy.
It was too much, so I started chasing them away when they showed up to eat.
Nothing happened that year.
The next year I continued to shoo the crows away from the feeder.
As usual, we planted our garden. I used a seed pod to start the corn in a miniature greenhouse. Once they were seedlings we planted them. It was a lot of work. One morning as we drove off to teach a class, we looked at our garden and admired how good the corn looked.
It was different when we returned a few hours later. We were shocked. All the corn had been yanked out of the ground.
We replanted with seed directly into the ground and it happened again – and again. Three times that summer the crows pulled out all the corn.
We did everything we could to stop them. It was only after we netted the garden that we finally got the corn to grow. And that’s what we did the next year. With a netted garden all was well, except for the extra work required.
Then one day I read about how smart and giving crows are to people they like. I told Del what I had read, and of course he understood right away. That spring Del said, “No more netting the garden, go back to feeding the crows.”
After that, the only time I saw them in the garden was the day I forgot to put suet out. They weren’t doing anything, just walking through the garden, and looking back at me. I knew what they were saying, “Come on, just a little food and we are your friends.
And they are. This summer they had four children, and I could tell them all apart some of the time, mostly by how they got to the suet. One jumped. One stood on a handle and reached over. One had little white marks on its wings.
For about a week it sounded as if we lived in a babies’ nursery. The babies, although as big as their parents, were loud and demanding and it was funny to watch their parents try to get some time to themselves. One afternoon, I watched as all four babies lined up on the side of the bird bath as the parent crows nudged them to take a bath one at a time.
Here’s the whole point of this story. We had to choose the crows. When we didn’t, live was messy. When we did, the mess went away, and joy took over.
How many things in our life do we pretend are not really present. Or someone else is responsible for the problem.
Until then, the problems are in charge.
The crows taught me a lesson. That is what crows do. Actually, that is what all of nature does, shows us what we need to learn. We just have to pay attention.
From the crows the message is, “Choose what you have, take care of it, and it will take care of you.”
Love this idea of crows as symbol? Download Del’s paper on crows.