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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Murder of Crows -- the policeman did it

By Jamie Lutton

I had been depressed this weekend, as some police in Renton decided to shoot crows out of the sky with bean bag guns and kill them. The crows were buzzing their heads, as this is the month young crows come out of their nests and attempt to fly. Some crows had decided to nest near their station, and gave the cops a"a bad time", flying near their heads.

According to the experts, the urban crows build their nests higher than they used to, so the birds have further to fall.  So we have anxious mothers and fathers and older siblings worrying about what is the equivalent of 2 year olds, young birds, learning to fly, and they have very far to fall; often 20-30 feet.   So, the crows (bravely)  buzz anyone who walks near whatever bush their babies landed into, as they are VERY SURE that whatever human is near them, their precious babies will be touched, grabbed, hurt, killed.

Well, can you blame them?

Think of the bravery of these crows. They weigh less than a pound; going up against a human, buzzing their heads, just because the human might notice their babies.

One commentator on line compared the crows to 'rats'; called them 'vermin'. 

I am thinking about the Renton cops; did they never read Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis? They did not remember the talking animals from Narnia?

Perhaps the talking mice? 

The point of Reepicheep was that he was a brave mouse.    Mice are supposed to be disgusting creatures, to be crushed underfoot. C. S. Lewis made them, or one of them a grand creature, a swordsman from the pages of Dumas,  incredibly brave, willing to tackle a foe that outweighed him by a factor of 60.  All in the name of honor, and glory.   The reader, the child out there, was supposed to learn a bit of compassion from this book, that even the smallest of us can have honor worth defending.  When Prince Caspian first encounters the talking mice, he thought they were almost a joke, and would be no help in war. When he saw them in battle;  they held their own, with their little swords, and fierce, over the top spirits, even when dreadfully wounded.

Reepicheep may be the best character in the Narnia series; because of his bad temper, his fierceness, his desire for a fight, and his quick wit.  So like a crow.

The crow's 'foes' out weighed them by a factor of 200 or so. And the 'foe' was in the crows justified fear of what humans might do, to the uneducated baby crow, who is loved by it's parents and older brothers and sisters.

Respect the love the crow has for its babies. Remember Reepicheep.  I can only surmise that the Renton cops forgot Narnia, or never read about Reepicheep, otherwise they would have had compassion.

Today I saw two brilliant crows.
  
One swooped out of the sky, surprising me going 'Aw Aw Aw' at me; then landed in the street about 10 feet from me.It sounded happy and raucous, talking to me the way crows talk to each other.   I tossed a dog biscuit so it dropped in front of it; it stomped over to it, and pecked it open.

A younger version of him flew down; I tossed him a biscuit, too. This crow flew up then,  flew by my head, and landed on a fence by the library, and I tossed it another treat.  I left them behind, and got my coffee. I cut through an alley, behind Charlies, where I had seen a lot of crows the other day congregating, where there had been a great deal of spilled food. Today, a crow came from the west, flew in a low circle around me, then landed on a fence post, silently.  In his circular flight, he was only a few feet off of the ground.  It was magnificent; a wonderful piece of virtuoso flying.   I spun around to watch him fly around me, which took a few heart beats, a slow bit of acrobatics, just to amuse me, I think.

I looked at him, and he at me.  I said 'oh, pretty bird', several times and tossed out a treat on the pavement. He looked at me, and did nothing. I tossed another, that landed near the first, and then a third. As other crows appeared in the air from the west, he flew down and took two of the treats, and flew off, as other crows arrived.  The other crows did not fly as beautifully as this crow had, but they got treats, too.

I had never 'owned' a bird, and never knew a bird before I started feeding crows. I had no attraction to birds in cages; thinking of the poet Blake's 'Robin Redbreast in a cage/put's all Heaven in a rage'.

I do think that the myth of fairies and fairy folk, the Irish version where they are little, little people must come from birds.  When I am alone, the tricks these birds pull to amuse me, (?) or amuse themselves, (I am not sure), must have convinced some peoples that they were fairy folk, disguised as birds.  

In a world before science and before the Christian god, the crows and other birds must have seemed to be magical creatures, fey creatures. 

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