A Funeral for a Crow


Cindy DeJager

The leaves were golden and gently falling from the trees that morning as I stood at the bus stop. There was that familiar hint of autumn in the air that made this event even more peculiar. Every morning for as long as I can remember the crows have come to this park to feast on a breakfast of seeds, corn husks, and bread crusts that a neighborhood resident kindly throws under the tall fir trees every morning. But this morning was different, there were no crows here, but rather they were congregating noisily across the street in a tall poplar tree; I watched, as overhead crows were flying to this new location from every direction. It was eerie in a way, and one of the other people at the bus stop with me was a little frightened by the loud cawing and the sheer number of birds that were coming here.

The poplar tree was entirely black with the crows that perched on its branches and the cawing was loud and chaotic. We wondered aloud what was happening that would cause these birds to react this way, and it was only a couple of minutes later when two passersby on their early morning stroll told us that a crow had been hit by a car just down the street. All these crows, probably family and extended family, friends and neighbors came to the spot where one of their own had just perished, and they mourned. I don’t know how long they were there, but the next morning life had returned to normal; except for one dead crow that still lay on the road.


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