Tuesday, October 24, 2006


WHEN CROWS CONSPIRE

On a recent sunrise walk through the mountainside maze of little roads that run back and across up and down through the terraced rice paddies, we were crossing a little bridge over one of the many streams that lace the mountainside when I spotted two big crows hunched like a couple of Richard the Thirds on the railing of a small bridge further up the mountain, yakking and clacking in close conversational beakery as they sat only inches apart. Couldn't hear the specifics, but it looked very confidential.

We wandered on along our road, later turning upward, and by chance, about a half hour later wound up coming down the mountain along the very same small road that passed beside that particular bridge, and there, still hunching on the bridgerail in very hush-hush consultation were the same two crows, still intently beak to beak, clucking mysteriously about whatever mysteries crows cluck about, I don't have a crow dictionary, but it looked very much like it had to do with some major heist or other.

They'd had their beaks together for at least a half-hour so far (plus who knows how long before we arrived) and they weren't finished yet. There wasn't another crow anywhere around, it was odd to see those two together for that long at that hour and not looking for breakfast, must have been something of truly corvine importance. We drew closer and closer to them but still they plotted, in lower and lower tones and more and more nervously as we neared; then when we were close enough to begin to overhear they flew off together to a tree further down the same road and did the crow equivalent of "As I was saying..."

And so it went for a few more interruptions as we strolled down the mountain, each time drawing too close for BlackFeather security, until the two dark conspirators got tired of being interrupted and flew off at a huffy right angle into the forest, where they could plan in detail for as long as needed.

One early morning not long after, it appeared that more than one large sharp beak had savaged my just-stacked bags of abura kasu (soy oil cake) fertilizer. I've got to get that dictionary.

Photo via Visueelvenster

5 comments:

Chancy said...

Robert.
Please do NOT watch a video of Hitchcock's "The Birds". If you do you might find out what those crows are plotting and it just ain't pretty
.

Robert Brady said...

There were only two, this time...

Joy Des Jardins said...

I think you've got a case Bob...ENCROWCHMENT!

Trace said...

Neat picture and story!

Thomas said...

A beautiful story! Thanks for sharing...

I'm convinced that crows and ravens are the most intelligent birds out there. When you get really close to them and look into their eyes, there's definitely somebody home.