the recent holiday altered my routine and i found myself on my front yard at an unusual time of day. while standing in front of the awesome 100 plus year old legacy tree, i heard noise up above a large crow stood on the branches staring down at me. shortly after, there was more noise. i could see through the branches and leaves an increasing number of crows perched. a gathering was in the works.
assuming the large crow was the leader, with eye contact made, i did the only thing i could think of. “good morning and how are you doing up there” and said. the crow, upon hearing the kind words, remained. the bird, and the others present accepted the greeting and remained up in their branches as well. i survived my meeting the whole mishpacha. even when speaking english, my family uses the hebrew word “mishpacha” as to emphasize the notion of family. a family of crows, en masse on the tree, was such a moment.
until this encounter, i was always aware that certain crows claimed our house as their property. during the day, the large crow would fly over. sometimes, there would be a companion crow. i was aware that it was a family. the crow family drama occasionally happened. a crow family squabble on the road one day was comical. even a human could understand what was going on. crow families are known to have strong relationships.
before my family encounter, my knowledge of crows included that they possess the intelligence level of an eight year old human, they have keen ability to recognize human faces, and they have strong multi-generational family arrangements.
given the intelligence level, family structure and facial memory of crows, there birds are not to be ignored. with all this in the back of my mind, a simple act of kindness to my stranger and neighbor was appropriate. while the bird didn’t understand my words, it understood that i respected its presence. a peace accord had been achieve.
in sum, i knew, when dealing the crows, you don’t mess with the family.
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