The Way of the Crow



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For weeks I felt the urge to name my crow. But, I kept thinking - "Of what use is a name to a bird?" True, my brother's family had already named him "Black Jack," but I wanted something different, something that expressed a deeper meaning. For his part, he certainly didn't appear especially interested in having a name. Humans are fond of classifying and giving names to objects and other living things. Why? Well, I reasoned, partly because we have this thing about extending or projecting our humanity beyond ourselves. We like to think other creatures are very much like ourselves, with very human-like characteristics or attributes. With this type of  reasoning, we lose sight of the uniqueness of other species such as cats, dogs, or crows, and  it becomes much more difficult to appreciate and learn from another species whose consciousness or awareness is alien to ours.


Those were some of the thoughts going through my mind during the initial months of caring for the crow. I struggled with the desire to maintain the "wild" nature of the bird - to have as little influence on his developement as possible. Soon, however, this attitude changed, as medical opinion confirmed that it was  impossible to fix his legs and feet. I was forced to concede that this  crow would live the rest of his life in close interaction with humans, especially myself, as I figured we were undoubtedly placed together for reasons unknown to both of us.


It was a short time later that I truely realized what a special blessing he was to my life. I suddenly felt a tremendous respect for his effort to adapt and overcome handicaps - to live a crow life within the confines of his new environment. For example, he quickly adapted to life within my  

cabin; to moving about in his straw box, contentedly pecking away at its walls. Further, he was not averse to flying dispite more than one crash landing. Eventually, he learned to land smoothly dispite his battered feet. Upon witnessing such efforts repeatedly, I realized that I should name him "Spirit".


Also, I thought this name was appropriate since, at some basic, primal level, I felt he brought me closer to the spirit beings or  evas which legends say protect and nourish the minerals, plants, animals and birds on their evolutionary paths. In fact, I think I was touched by deva magic one chilly November night, while asleep in the loft of my cabin. As I  recall, I awoke to sounds that night, to the movement of Spirit's feet on his grass bed. When I peeked downstairs, to investigate further, I was struck by moonlight dancing on his eyes. 

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