Crow’s Message

I’d taken myself off to an outdoor cafe the other day to indulge in a soy chai latte. Made with soymilk because I can’t do a lot of dairy, and because this cafe makes the best chai latte EVEAH!

The cafe’s location isn’t exactly salubrious, it overlooks the car-park of a small mall. The kind of mall that attaches itself to the vacant lots where two or more major roads intersect, and is in turn surrounded by wall-to-wall suburban homes that all look exactly the same. I try to imagine what it would be like moving into one of those houses. How would you know which one was yours on a dark and stormy night?

Back to my cafe.

The sun shone bright on the tarmac, (one of the few sunny days we’ve had here at Widdderlake – although today is turning out to be another one) as I sipped my delicious chai latte and watched the world, and cars, go by.

At the far corner of the carpark, but still in my field of vision stood a dumpster. Rust stains and faded olive-green paint blotched it’s surface like lichen on steroids. The lid had been propped open (I hoped they closed it at the end of the day, dumpsters being the take-out venue of choice for the local black bear population) and I could see that it was almost full of bulging black plastic garbage bags, random pieces of splintered wooden furniture, wilted hedge prunings and a few smaller domestic white garbage bags sulking next to their boisterous commercial cousins.

A crow flew overhead and made a bee-line (crow-line?) straight for the dumpster. This crow had the look of a town-dweller, scrappy, a couple of tail feathers missing, and a complete disregard for humans and all their creations, except for the contents of it’s favourite eatery, the dumpster.

Crow hopped along the top of the bin, casting one eye upon the delicacies within, then turning its head, and casting the other eye. Something must appealed to it’s taste buds because it flapped and disappeared into the bin.

I waited, curious to see what delicate morsels it would choose.

I waited some more.

A polystyrene burger container erupted from the depths of the dumpster and fell to the ground. Moments later a string of what I hoped were not some form of animal entrails, followed.

Still no sign of Crow.

Several bits of white plastic bags floated up and were caught by a breeze. I was beginning to suspect Crow had set its sights too high and was feeling a little disgruntled at the offerings.

Crow appeared next. It balanced on the edge of the dumpster, empty-handed, (empty-clawed?) rather disgruntled, as I’d suspected, and vented it’s spleen with a racuous,”Cawwwk”.

It flew into a nearby cherry tree and proceeded to shake a storm of cherry-blossom petals onto the cars of the inconsiderate humans below.

I smiled into my chai latte as I paid attention to Crow’s message.

Even if you’re a crow in a dumpster, never settle for less than exactly what you want.


“ Method is more important than strength, when you wish to control your enemies. By dropping golden beads near a snake, a crow once managed to have a passer-by kill the snake for the beads”Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Poet 1807-1882

14 comments on “Crow’s Message

  1. Wonderful imagery. I felt like I was sitting at the table with you…did you see me? 🙂


  2. jannatwrites says:

    You final comment on your observations cracked me up. What I take from this is that the pigeons are choosing to mess on my car because they can’t find what they want in the dumptster (or we didn’t throw enough grass seed down.)


  3. I wonder what delicacy would have been what he wanted?

    Funny how even the carrion-eaters leave the fast food hamburgers alone.


  4. londonmabel says:

    Great story.

    Love soy chai lattes.

    The crows in this nabe are fierce, they really own it. When I’m out working, they check me out, make sure I’m doing approved work. Clearly you have similarly forceful birds!


  5. Good crow! Crows have a way of letting me know all’s well. At least that’s what I’ve decided they’re telling me….Lichen on steroids, ha! I think of eczema gone bezerkos with that image.


    • Widdershins says:

      An obscure segue about crows … I wonder where the term ‘a murder of crows’ to describe a flock of them, came from?


      • I got as far as one web site to learn the meaning, which the author had only speculations. So, I speculate it’s because a person with a spectacular way of saying things noted how a bunch of birds around an animal carcass was a “murder of crows”. And it took. There’s an orchard full of crows that every time I pedal by it, I start composing a murder mystery in my head. By the time I get home I’ve forgotten what I was thinking. Maybe I should just sit in the orchard.


  6. Widdershins says:

    Yep … it’s always a good idea to write an idea down when it hits. I have notebooks (the paper kind) next to my bed, in the car, in my bag, in my bicycle panniers …


  7. Nisha says:

    I must say sincerely, what a fantastic writer you are! You described everything so perfectly, no detail was left wanting.
    I actually felt sorry for the crow but the message you gleaned from it was an excellent one.
    Ps. I would love to have stood under that tree and have those cherry-blossom leaves fall on me. Sounds like a party! 🙂


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