DSTL Arts – a nonprofit arts mentorship organization that inspires, teaches, and hires emerging artists from underserved communities.
By Jeremy Arias
The crow cawed as the morning rose. I could see his shadow spilling over the curtain with the sunlight. He hopped around and danced as he chippered a honking sound.
Cawnk Cawnk Cawnk!
If I’d leave him alone he’d start knocking on the door with his beak. By now he’d learned that I had a love for such birds, and I would give him crumbs of bread, seeds, or whatever other bird food items I had lying around. It was typical that he’d show up in the morning and impatiently wait for his serving of whatever surprise I had left over from last night’s dinner.
A few weeks ago was when he started showing up. You feed a bird once and they keep coming back. With crows, this trend is a bit different. When you feed a bird as smart as a crow or raven, they return the favor and give you things in return. The first morning I saw Atticus, which is what I named the crow, he was dancing around eating the chocolate candies I left out during a drunken escapade of mine and thought he was cute. He managed to open the packaging and helped himself to my snacks. If I saw a person eating it, I would’ve flipped out and kicked them out, but I figured if he’d opened it and helped himself, he deserved them for the trouble.
Atticus was dancing around at the sweetness of the chocolate and saw me peeking through the window. He cawed a couple times and danced back toward the edge of the porch. He flew away with the rest of the chocolates and came back the next morning. I hadn’t left anything out, but I managed to wake up early enough to hear him show up and scavenge the porch.
He’s back, I thought as I frantically searched for something to feed him. I went through my pantry and pulled out some nuts I had laying for a few months that I convinced myself I wasn’t going to eat after the first week they were hoarded in there, but I felt bad throwing them away. He took some time to get close to me, at first I had to lay down the nuts on the porch railing and allowed him to approach them. After a couple days he began to look for me and caw and honk on my porch until I came out.
Hawnk Hawnk Hawnk!
When I came out one morning with a cup of water and seeds, I noticed something lodged in his beak. It was a glossy brown button. He laid it down on the railing and took a step back stooping his head as if presenting it to me. I thanked him kindly although I knew he couldn’t understand, but he danced around happily as I put down his usual snack. I took the button and smiled at him as he finished up. He cawed twice and flew away.
Now he’s at my porch pecking his beak against my door. I don’t want to open the door again. I tried to shoo him away yesterday but he came back. I was hoping he didn’t come back today. Yesterday he brought a ring. It was golden with a diamond plastered on top of it. I was wondering what poor bastard he took the ring from or where he found it, but I’m not asking questions anymore, because today’s returning gift was an index finger with a shiny, red nail.
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