LETTER: Sharing stories

Dear Editor:

I’ve been writing since I was a teenager, but have done nothing serious with any of my writing.

Oh, I almost sold a novel once, but I never pursued my writing career.

I’m sending this little story “just because.” Everyone I’ve told about my crows think it’s a funny story, so I thought maybe others might enjoy it, too. My husband knew many people in this town and they’ll remember him, I’m sure. In fact, his key ring disappeared the day he died and since I’ve not been able to find it anywhere, many have said they think the crows carried his keys off.

Maybe they did… but that’s another story:

Life on My Corner — The Shunning

Have you ever been shunned by a crow? Worse yet, have you ever been shunned by eighteen crows? My late husband, Marv Johnson, always claimed a crow would eat anything. He wasn’t around for the “shunning.” I wish he had been because you almost had to see it to believe it.

Marv and I had always fed the crows, and he especially enjoyed watching their antics in our back yard. He laughed when they’d sidle up to a piece of food, and then jump back like it was alive, sometimes testing the little piece until he (or she, who knows the difference?) decided it was safe to grab and go. He also enjoyed watching them bathe themselves, splashing about in our makeshift bird bath high up on a post by our garden.

Marv had been gone from my life quite some time when I decided to make a treat to take to a friend’s home for an afternoon of playing dominoes. The recipe was simple — break up some kale (taking out the tough stuff), mix it up with a little olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper and parmesan cheese. Then you bake it in the oven for a little while. I thought it might be a good use for kale since I’ve often wondered what God’s intentions were for the stuff. I haven’t been able to think of many.

Anyhow, I mixed up the kale “treat” and took it to the afternoon get-together with my friends. They were polite and tried to eat it, but I could tell they were not real enamored with my new recipe. To tell the truth, I wasn’t eating it either. So I brought it home, figuring I’d feed it to the crows. After all, ‘they’d eat anything.’

The next morning I threw it out in the back yard, in the spot where I always throw food specially for them. Now remember, the crows, only a few at a time, sit on the two wires crossing over my back yard, looking longingly down onto my yard, waiting to see what I might give them. That day, wondering if they’d tried the kale yet, I looked out my kitchen window to see all eighteen crows (I know because I counted them) lined up on the wires with their backs to me.

At first, I was shocked and then I started to laugh. Whoever would have dreamed that those shiny black guys (or gals) would hate something so much they’d turn their backs on me? They sat on the wires quite a while and not one crow flew down to eat the kale. I got the message. I grabbed the key to our shed and went out to get the rake, causing all eighteen birds to take flight.

I raked all the kale into a flower bed and went back inside to pop the danged birds some popcorn. They came back and ate that skittishly, but heartily, and have since managed to sit facing forward on the wires.

Once you’ve been shunned by a flock of crows, you are very careful to serve up only the finest crow cuisine for them. I know I won’t make that mistake again.

Edie Johnson