consorting with crows

I saw a crow by the side of the road yesterday. She was on the pavement. Safe. Enough. But cautious all the same. She was pecking in the cracks in the concrete. Getting fat, or just by(?) on our leftovers. The waste of a wasteful generation.
Crows. They are a wary species. They know when we are watching them. And they stop whatever they are doing. And change direction. Shift their shape. We’ll never know what they are really up to.
Crows observe us to see what crazy direction us humans will go in next. Then they work out how they will adapt or profit from it. Crows set up home where humans waste. Although so wary of catching our eye, they set up camps surprisingly close to our activity. Nests in motorway services. Gathering in just-ploughed fields or fields where us humans have our livestock.
We, however, are also wary of crows. We know they scavenge. They eat our roadkill. We know really we should be grateful for this, it would go wasted otherwise, and create more waste that would take longer to shift. But these are not our thoughts when we see crows at work. Doing our dirty work. They are a constant reminder of our dirt. Of matter. Of death. All the things we’d prefer to forget. Things we’d prefer to sweep under a rug and leave there. We both live close to death. Crows have few qualms about this. But we do. We pretend we don’t create death. We package our meat so it doesn’t look like the animal it came from. We call it a different name. A French name to sanitise this. Cow is boeuf is beef. Pig is porc  is pork. Our biggest avoidance. A lie. That death is not part of us or part of life.
They, she, the crow on the pavement, has a funny sideways move. Somewhere between a waddle and a skip. It betrays a lightness of character. In the meantime she feeds. A meal between the cracks in the tarmac. Watches the cars with a guarded, mistrustful eye. And skips to the side every time a car passes. Avoiding our presence but clearing up our traces.
We are caught up with them in a technologically weird feedback loop. Our destinies are bound together. A strange balancing act. A curious co-dependence.

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2 thoughts on “consorting with crows

  1. Aurora J Stone May 12, 2014 / 12:34 pm

    I have had an affinity with Crows and Ravens for many years enjoy watching them when I get the chance. Your observations are carefully made not only of the actions and activities of Crows, but our actions of denial and sidestepping the issue that for us to eat anything, animal or vegetable, we must cease its life. We sidestep this much as the Crow and Raven sidestepped to get out of our way. The difference is we see their sidestepping and we, as you say, hide ours.

  2. ninamgeorge May 30, 2014 / 9:21 am

    love these thoughts and the links you make

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