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As The Crow Flies

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

As The Crow Flies
It was typical long bright, sunny spring day on Johnny's family's farm in the Matanuska valley of Alaska .
Johnny's sister Patsy had just stirred up a batch of bread and milk for five very hungry puppies--------and one equally hungry crow.

The crow, who the family had named Timmy, had accompanied the family from Wisconsin two years earlier.
Timmy was a gregarious, picky, nosy and pesky bird, but Johnny loved him. Maybe that's why he was willing to put up with him, because Timmy was a crow who was constantly in trouble.
On the top of Timmy's head was a bare spot about the size of a quarter, a permanent memorial to some unknown struggle which left him partially bald, although nobody ever figured out how he managed to get himself scalped.
Like most crows, Timmy was attracted by two things; food and anything shiny. Mostly food.
Patsy placed the big dish of bread and milk down amidst the swirling mass of hungry puppies who were now tumbling over each other at her feet, in anticipation of dinner.
Timmy promptly swooped in and landed on the ground about four feet away from her.
Oh boy!. Food! Timmy definitely wanted to be in on this feast.
Timmy tried to get at the food bowl by darting in and out between fat little puppies. Frantically he attempted to get a share of the food. He'd find an opening between two pups and dash in, but moments later he'd be shoved aside.
A litter of hungry puppies can be just like litter of little pigs. There was just too much pushing and shoving going on for a crow to capture even a morsel of food.
A fella could starve with all these little guys around!, he thought.
Timmy dropped back and considered the situation for a moment. If he was going to get his share of dinner, he was going to have to come up with a way divert the puppies' attention from their dinner.
Timmy raced around the circle of puppy rumps which surrounded the food bowl, and one by one he firmly grabbed each pup's tail in his beak, gave it a strong yank, and lifted the puppy's hind end off the ground.
What fun! the puppies thought. Instantly it was playtime for the pups. They forgot all about eating.
Johnny's house was situated on the side of a hill and the food bowl was located in the upper yard of the house.
After yanking each puppies tail, which was a "Catch me if you can!" invitation if they ever saw one, Timmy took to the air. He swooped down and flew right in front of their little noses, flying only about a foot above the ground, and going just fast enough to stay airborne.
Timmy flew toward the nearest corner of the house and casually sailed around the corner, with the entire litter of puppies in tumbling, yapping pursuit.
Johnny and his sister watched the procession as the crow and the puppies disappeared from our sight.
What the heck was that all about?, Johnny wondered, Where did everybody go?
They didn't have long to wait.

"Caw! "Caw"!
Johnny and his sister looked up. Here came Timmy.
Having started the puppies on a wild goose chase, the crow sailed up over the roof of the house and drew a bead on their dinner.
As he was nearing the ground, he pulled out of his power dive, flared his wings and gracefully landed on the edge of the food dish.
The crow looked over at Johnny and Patsy, cocked his head, and winked. Then he settled down to a peaceful, puppy-free meal.
It was a good ten minutes before the first confused puppy waddled back around the corner of the house. By that time, Timmy had eaten his fill of their dinner and was now happily perched on Johnny's shoulder.
Johnny watched the stragglers wander back to their half empty food dish.

As Johnny realized how clever his pet crow had been, tricking those piggy little puppies into chasing him, so he could double back and eat their dinner, Johnny burst out laughing, and his teeth sparkled brightly in the late afternoon sun.

Do you remember the second thing that crows like best?
Timmy the crow leaned forward and peered closely at Johnny's teeth as he laughed.
Oh boy!... thought Timmy....Shiny stuff!

As The Crow Flies - By John Newby- Copyright 1999 - 2001


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