Remembering the Crows

Remembering the Crows

It was early one morning on one of those grey autumn days. Cool and not too much wind. Pleasant enough. To be honest there was really nothing special about it beyond its usual specialness. At the time, I was coming home after going for my morning walk and as usual, I was on a bit of a high … bit of a skip in my step. But as I was getting closer to home, I spotted something out of the ordinary on the ground. “Hmmm … I wonder what it is?” As I got closer, I soon made out what it was and with an intake of breath and a sinking feeling, I realised that it was a crow, just lying there. No sign of life. I’m not sure how it had died. But in any case, all of a sudden, it threw me into high gear.

Birds are special. Well, every animal is special. That I do know. But birds are particularly close to my heart and all I knew was that I couldn’t leave this crow on the side of the street. For it to even die there seemed wholly wrong. It didn’t belong here amongst our cold buildings and empty streets. No, I had to lay it to rest in the woods. And so, off I rushed home. My door was just a few steps away and so, this wouldn’t take long. I could grab a bag that I would use to carry the crow and then head back up Castle Hill. Hurry!

I managed to find a bag and, all business now, I was about to rush out of the door when I heard a huge cacophony. “What?! What is that?!” I looked out of my window to see about ten crows arrayed around the one who had died, some up on the wire, others on the ground, kawing and calling out. What was going on? I thought. I couldn’t make immediate sense of it, but it seemed like somehow, they had come and, I don’t know, as a sign of reverence, were in their way showing their respect. Bidding it farewell? Mourning?

Maybe it was just my sincere wish for it be so, but if I closed my eyes, I could imagine that with their kawing and keening, eventually its spirit rose up from the ground. And when the crows all began to fly off, as they did, its spirit, too, took to wing and flew off with them. Yes, it would only be right wouldn’t it, for they had come to take it home.

And then, after they had all left, I was given the honour, privilege, and solemn duty to take its body into the woods and give it back to the planet.

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