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mr. and mrs. crow and other crow stories

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by satchitananda, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    long ago, i remember reading an interview with the famous cartoonist r.k.laxman in the newspaper. to the question "what do you do in your free time", he answered "i watch crows". i was quite surprised. what on earth did he find so fascinating about crows. it could certainly not be their beauty.

    yesterday, when walking past a building where my old institute was situated, i was reminded of a sight that i had witnessed sitting at the window of the staff room. this institute is situated in a very posh, green area of the city. it was an old building and the window of the staff room looked out onto a very big tree. there were a lot of monkeys around and i spent many an hour watching their antics (all the time making sure the windows were closed, of course).

    however, one afternoon, when i was sitting in a ruminative mood, looking out of the window, i noticed a pair of crows sitting on a branch of the tree.

    [​IMG]

    as i was watching, one of the crows (let us call her mrs. crow) went sat beside the other one (mr. crow) and stretched out its neck to be scratched. mr. crow very obligingly scratched mrs. crow on the neck. then he went back to his business of looking all around. mrs. crow edged closer to him and offered her neck once again. once again mr. crow obliged. this happened 3-4 times. the fifth time round, mr. crow seemed to get tired of the game and went and perched on another branch.

    mrs. crow's ego was hurt. she sat wearing a very hurt look and looked around for about 2 minutes, waiting for mr. crow to come back and make up. when mr. crow showed no such intentions, she decided to take things right into her own hands, or should i say under her own wings, flew right up to him and very determinedly stuck her neck right under his beak.

    i just could not believe what i had just seen [​IMG] my eyes just stopped short of popping out. this was the first time i had witnessed a show of this sort. mr. r.k. laxman, certainly knew what he was talking about, and so did all the narrators of the stories from the panchatantra.

    i have subsequently had experiences of crows, which have challenged my authority over my own garden. i have a balcony garden with a lot of potted plants. i do have a lot of trouble with squirrels, but i had never bargained for trouble with crows which decide that the leaves of my plants are more delectable than any in the park opposite or in anyone else's balcony garden. initially i tried to shoo away the crows. then (i shall admit at the risk of sounding like i have absolutely copped it :hide:) i tried to talk to the crows, telling them very politely to go away (i have heard that plants and beasts respond to feelings and understand the other person's feelings). all i got back was a very defiant look, like it was saying "let's see what you can do if i don't". i was really furious. but i was rather uncertain about really shooing them away (who knows, which ancestor has chosen to visit me - i really can't risk hurting their feelings or incurring their wrath). finally the crows emerged victorious and i had to eat humble pie.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
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  2. Soldier

    Soldier Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Satchi,

    Very nice post dear. I too entered here wondering what you may have to write on this topic. But felt so relaxed after reading this post with a hot cup of coffee after a hectic day. Your narration about Mrs Crow getting a soothing scratch from Mr. Crow. If layman can enjoy them so much, imagine how RKL would have benefitted from such scenes. May be that's when new thoughts were born in his mind.

    Anyways, thanks for the good read da!
     
  3. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    hi mallika,

    thanks for the appreciation. :)
     
  4. peartree

    peartree Platinum IL'ite

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    Beautiful satchi :) I could play the entire scene in my head as I was reading it! I think it's little things like this that add so much beauty to this wonder called life. Sadly, in our rush, we totally miss these small pleasures.

    Here in the US, we never get to see crows :-( I miss them so much.

    RKL and RKN.... the brothers are wonderful. Just a few days back, I was reading Swami and Friends probably for the 300th time and was so overwhelmed by the simple, yet beautiful writing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  5. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    true peartree,

    what a pair of brothers. i wonder what their mom fed them. one a cartoonist par excellence and the other an observer of human nature and a narrator beyond compare.

    thanks.
     
  6. tashidelek2002

    tashidelek2002 IL Hall of Fame

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    Crows are a favorite of mine also. We have a small number in the trees near my house and I feed them every morning. They eat whatever the cat has left the night before, old bread, meat trimmings that would otherwise be thrown out, an occasional cracked egg that I won't cook, and in general they are my garbage disposers. I can do simple crow calling and bring them in. Because of my interest in crows, let me add some facts that I have gleaned over the years:

    Crows don't live in flocks...they live in families. Crows are all over the world and have the intelligence of chimpanzees. They are able to do facial recognition of humans. They have their own language and can discuss many things amongst themselves including dangers, food sources, etc. They bury food for safekeeping until later. They are so strong when they fly (at least the North American ones are) that they can fly off with a large ear of boiled sweet corn.

    I have a favorite crow that has a crippled foot. She will come to my back door area in the winter when she gets hungry and wait until I feed her. A couple weeks back she had dined on an old dinner roll, a stiff piece of panatone, and was following it all up on a cracked egg and suddenly she started shreiking in a terrified vocalization. She zoomed for hiding into a pine tree next door. I looked up and coming in fast was a very large American bald eagle. She had spotted it in time!!
     
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  7. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    hi tashidalek,

    thanks for that really interesting mail. i had heard crow stories in the panchatantra and that they were very intelligent creatures. but i had never seen anything like this before. absolutely amazing.
     
  8. DNM

    DNM Silver IL'ite

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    Good thread Sat! I love crows too. Infact they are very popular in my circle. A close friend of mine from high school had a crow well trained to come to her window, do antics for food and allow to be stroked.

    My sister is a passionate animal lover and makes pets of any animal that comes her way, stray, wild or both. In one of her office locations, she too had a pet crow that would come to the window expressly during tea time for the parle g biscuits my sister would have ready.

    In our culture, we serve crows rice, dhal and a little bit of ghee every day. My grandmother would call in the crows for lunch before serving us every day until a few years back. She is too old now and only remindes someone else to call the crows. They don't come to eat as fast or as many as when my grandma would call them. Maybe they liked her voice and face better.
     
  9. tashidelek2002

    tashidelek2002 IL Hall of Fame

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    In the Tibetan monasteries, after the rituals that include tormas, they put the tormas on the roof for the crows to enjoy. The tormas are made from a mixture of roasted barley flour, little sugar and ghee.
     
  10. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi dnm,

    That is interesting. There used be one that arrived at the dot of noon for it's rice at my mom,s place. It's really amazing, how human the behavior is. I had heard of dogs and cats and humans wanting to be tickled/scratched. But crows? Well, all I can say is we live and learn.
     

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