The Way of the Crow



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The Closing

The winter of 1994 proceeded in the usual manner, with Spirit pecking a multitude of holes in his cardboard house, showing his usual behaviour towards the telephone, splashing vigorously in his water basin, and displaying his usual fascination with my oil painting techniques. However, February included some unusual events, to say the least.

I returned home one evening to find Spirit setting on a table amongst my oil paints and brushes. This was very strange and puzzling to me. He appeared to be very excited and somewhat nervous. After he calmed down, I returned him to his living space, and retired for the night. At about 3 o'clock in the morning I awoke to the loud flapping of wings, and the sound of objects hitting the floor. I quickly jumped from bed and went downstairs to find the floor strewn with papers and paint brushes! Spirit was sitting on a chair in a corner of the room.

I couldn't understand what was making him so agitated? I sat on a chair, trying to think through all the possible reasons for the events of the past few hours. I found myself coming up short of an answer, when from the corner of my vision, I noticed movement. It was coming from behind paintings that were leaning against a wall. I sat still, hardly breathing. I watched, the way a spider watches from its web, or a crow watches the landscape from a tree top. Finally, there it was again, the same movement. I was astonished to see a weasel peering from behind a landscape painting! For an instant our eyes met, then in an flash, the weasel ran to the steps and bolted upstairs.

I was stunned. To find a weasel in my cabin was both remarkable and, at the same time, my worst nightmare! The weasel was beautiful, with its snow white fur and black tipped tail. It was twelve to fifteen inches long at the most. I found it remarkable to be sharing such a small space with both a weasel and a crow! The nightmare, of course, was that a weasel and a crow were a deadly combination. I knew the weasel might easily kill Spirit for they are smart predators that can strike quickly and viciously.

I immediately set to work reinforcing Spirit's living area, securing the walls, and making them much higher. I believed I had a chance to keep the weasel at bay. I noticed it had raided Spirit's food supply, because his living area and food dish were completely empty of the usual scraps of food.

For the following week, the three of us shared my cabin. I found it was next to impossible to keep the weasel from invading Spirit's space. No matter how much I tryed to prevent it, the weasel always seemed to eat Spirit's food. In the end, I may have won a partial victory, but I was never quite sure. I found it was more satisfactory to feed the weasel. I always made sure there was meat lying about my cabin floor. This appeared to be the best strategy, since Spirit was able to live a more normal, contented life.

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