Such an elegant bird, the crow

This morning, I heard a loud thump in my boss’s office, closely followed by, “S***!” Denice came to my office and said, “Peter, a big crow just hit my office window and it’s stuck in the shrubbery. Will you help me get it out?” I got up and we went outside.

She was dazed, beak open. Every few seconds the white nictitating membrane crossed her eye, blinking like a person trying to clear their mind. Her wings were splayed and tangled in the shrub.

I came up behind her and carefully folded her wings back while Denice moved some of the branches to the side. When I lifted the crow and put her down in the mulch, her right leg was a little crooked. It wasn’t broken, just clumsy like a drunk’s. She still clutched a branch in her left claw.

So Denice and I stayed there for a minute or two. I pet the crow for a couple of minutes, admiring her sleek obsidian feathers and savoring their smoothness on my fingertips. Her beak agape, I watched her little chalk-stained black tongue move a tiny bit. All I could think was what a beautiful animal this is and that I hoped she would live but that like all things, she too must die. But please not from the window.

“Maybe we should move her where it would be easier to take off,” suggested Denice. I picked her up and walked her over and put her down between a white pine and the creeping ornamentals on our building’s southwest side. Given that the crow might be with us for a while, we decided she might want some water. Denice went to get water and I got some granola.

We came out, and just as Denice was going to set the water bowl down, the crow leapt into the air and took off. She was so elegant, so strong.

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