Thursday, June 19, 2008


My dad loved, honored and respected crows as one of the most intelligent birds on the planet. As a child, I'd go crow hunting with him fairly regularly. He'd hide me in a rhododendron thicket, give me a gun (which I never shot) and tell me to sit still and wait for the crows to come in once he started calling to them with his crow call.

He had a repertoire of various calls he'd use to lure the crows in; he could imitate a juvenile crow in distress call, a wounded crow, angry crows after a hawk, flirtatious calls, a dying crow, etc. He knew which one to use at whatever time in order to pull the wool over the savy birds' eyes in order to bring them his way.

A couple of times, Papa let me try to participate in the calling, but I just didn't have his talent, and his frustration at my inability to bring in the crows led me to quit trying. However, when he gave me his crow call several years back, I knew he wanted me to try again and again. And so I have since his death.

Day before yesterday when I got home, there was a group of crows in the pine trees at the end of the side yard. I fetched the crow call and listened closely to their exchanges. Then, I gave it a shot. I didn't do anything fancy like Daddy used to; I just listened and responded, trying to make the same sounds the crows were making in the tops of the pine trees.

Much to my surprise, every one of them started cawing right back at me. We did a call / response thing for probably 30 minutes until I gave up. It takes some pulmonary stamina to maintain the repetition and level of their call. ( I'll attribute breathing techiques in yoga to my ability to sustain my end of the avian conversation.)

Boy, it was neat! and I was excited!! I just couldn't believe I finally succeeded in calling in the crows. What I most wanted to do was call up my dad and let him listen over the phone. Then I realized that through them, Papa was talking to me. The lively conversation, the playfulness of the crows, and their seeming desire to connect with me lets me know all's well with Papa as he embraces his new existence in the world of spirit.

Thanks be....Namasté...
(Art Credit: "Talking to Crows" by Louise Louviere)

1 comment:

i am very mary said...

Just so you know, I think your papa has moved to the farm:) It's the closet thing to heaven on this side, you know, and I can't imagine why he'd be anywhere else.