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Crow Concerns

Bayou-Diversity (11 March 2018) [Crows are very intelligent, have fascinating personalities, and when I watch them it’s hard for me not to personify their behavior – as in this case.] Old one-eyed crow danced around the fox lying on the roadside. He knew the miracle was coming. Still warm into death, the fox was about to give up his soul. Crow had seen this several times in his long life with possums, coons, armadillos, and once with a yearling doe. Regardless of his past experiences, crow never tired of watching the dreadful wonder. It reassured him; at least it had up to this point. Even now he quivered with excitement. In a while the fox’s prime winter pelt rippled as if by a breeze, but wind was absent this stage. Crow hopped closer cautiously knowing he often misjudged distance with only one good eye. The rise in volume of a tuning fork hum stopped him short, and he leaned back on his stiff tail braced for the happening. The soul broke out abruptly, not out of his feet or out of his mouth, but out of the entire fox. It hung there in the air just above the carcass for a few seconds as if it was getting its bearings. Crow would tell you that always at this point in the process he was very afraid. A fox being a fox and doing what foxes do, he was especially scared on this occasion. The soul lifted up a few feet, then higher to the treetops where it started making shallow circles in the oak canopy. Crow cocked his head and became dizzy trying to follow it with his live eye. When it suddenly dropped straight down toward the road ditch like a plummeting meteor, he gasped a pitiful croak. At that moment crow thought he was doomed. But the soul stopped short of going to earth and lifted again, this time never wavering in an ascent as straight up as a rocket shot. In seconds it was out of sight in the deep blueness of the heavens. Crow was breathing hard and relieved as he had ever been in his life. Never yet in his witnessing such events had a soul gone down into the crow-black gumbo soil in spite of crow rumors. Contemplating that pardons might actually be possible, he flew away with a fresh dose of hope in his craw.

[The photo is of a hooded crow that I took in Istanbul. It is the Asian cousin of American crows and fish crows – the self-proclaimed watchmen in Bayou Country.] ©KO


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