Crows in all their many forms (especially the rook and the raven) have always fascinated me. I find they represent a link between the modern day and older times, between the city-scape and the rural. Crows can be found anywhere but I love the juxtaposition of their dark feathers against the browns and greens of the countryside in my native Scotland. Unlike other birds they don’t try to fade into the background but instead stand proud, unapologetic and strangely out-of-place with their baleful, knowing eyes watching me, the interloper, as I pass them by. Their harsh cries apparently signalling my arrival and departure to their brethren, “We know you, we know what you are” they seem to say. It is very easy to attribute human-like qualities to the intelligent crow and I like to imagine they judge us. I think if they were the ‘dominant’ species they would do a better job as stewards of the earth than we have done so far; and I think they know it! Yet the crow’s harsh cries and uncamouflaged plumage seem to echo our own unwillingness to truly assimilate into nature. Because of this dichotomy, the crow, for me, is the perfect mascot for this story.
The crow and the human species…
In many cultures the crow has been linked to war and death and sadly often unfairly persecuted because of this. A modern day study (lead by John M. Marzluff) indicates that they can recognise particular humans that they feel have harmed them in the past and they pass this information onto other crows. I wonder if they also spread the word about humans who are kind to them; perhaps so, if the story about the little girl in Seattle who fed a few crows and now has multiple visiting her every day for dinner and bringing her presents to say thank you is anything to go by! I think this is a wonderful example of how we are all just trying to survive on this earth and if we can help each other along the way the happier we all are!
If you’d like to read the story here is a link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-31604026
I’ll leave you with a wee traditional Scottish children’s song about crows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzCdQbxgkAQ