Tuesday, 7 October 2008

No good deed goes unpunished

I got to experience it firsthand this spring. I stepped out into my tiny fenced-in back yard, which triggered a frantic rustling in the flower beds. And what to my wondering eye should appear...

Fledgling crow hiding in the garden
This young crow had fallen from the nest in the tree overhanging my yard and couldn't get out. It appeared to be fully fledged to my non-expert eyes, but was unable to get aloft. When I watched it from the inside, I saw that it could get only about a foot into the air.

Being tender-hearted and a soft touch, I decided to care for the thing. (I'd googled caring for crows as pets and quickly decided that was not something I wanted to get involved in.) So I fed the darn thing: oatmeal, fruits and veggies, bits of cheese, some canned meat. Being really bad at imaginative names, I called it Buddy. Trust me, Edgar Allen Crow has been used a million times.

Young crow eating
Buddy wasn't sure what to think of me. His experience told me I was beneficent, so he'd stay pretty calm when I was around.

Baby crow
Until his parents caught sight of me, and immediately raised a ruckus from the treetops to make your head hurt. "Run! Hide! Danger!" Confused, Buddy would comply and tuck himself under the leaves again. I gave up trying to make friends; the family interference was just too intense.

Buddy liked hanging out on my chair.

Crow poops on chair
And as you can see, hanging out was not the only thing he did on my chair. And on the table. And all over the patio. Now imagine this going on for four or five days.

I didn't take pictures. It was too discouraging. I stopped using the back yard. The chairs were too dirty to sit in. And, tender-hearted or no, when I came out one morning to feed him (her?) and discovered he'd flown the coop, I was thrilled. For me, not for the bird.

Maybe I should have called him Nevermore.

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Rachel Burton said...

Ha! What a great story. I'm glad it had a happy ending - for you and I assume for Buddy.

And I love "Nevermore," which also reminds me what a great word "quoth" is!

*mulls over how to insert "quoth" into WIP*

Janet said...

I assume it ended well for Buddy too. He kept practicing his flying and had been improving. And there were no loose feathers around, so I assume one of the neighbourhood cats didn't get him.

It took a good stiff-bristled brush and several days of rain to get the chairs clean again...

Janna Qualman said...

Oh, Janet. *wipes tears* A story that turns out so heartwarming... and winds up covered in poo. Sorry it wasn't a better experience for you. :/

Janet said...

It's so nice to have empathetic friends. Even if they didn't turn up with scrub brushes when I needed them. ;o)

Terra Chandler said...

That's an awesome story!! I love the name "Nevermore". He may be gone, but that's what I would change his name to if I were you. Then you can know that there is a bird, flying somewhere in the wide wide world, who has a name. How many wild birds can boast that?!

Janet said...

Terra, that's funny. I'll have to start calling for him out the back door. The neighbours probably think I'm nuts anyway...


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