I met Julia, and her mate, Julius, the day when we moved to our new home.
If you haven't been following the story of my crow friends in the Omen or Silly Superstition post series, read Part 1 and Part 2.
Many animals give gifts to members of their own species but crows and other corvids are the only ones known to give gifts to humans. Crows give presents to people who feed them and pay attention to them, or rescue them.
Autumn came in spectacular colors. The leaves turned colorful, all shades of yellow, orange, and red. The air was crisp, but the sun gave enough warmth to make the temperature comfortable. I put a light jacket on and went outside to sit on the patio to enjoy my afternoon coffee.
I rarely had a chance to enjoy nature in the City, I thought as I watched the squirrels and chipmunks scurrying about collecting acorns under the oak trees. It feels like I’m on vacation since we moved here... Loud cawing and barking snapped me out of my dreamy state.
I looked up and saw a huge Rottweiler chasing after a crow that seemed to be injured. It was barely able to lift itself up about a foot into the air and flopped down again. Another crow was flying above them, kept cawing and darted from the air to land on the dog’s head. The dog shook it off and swatted at the bird sending it flying and skidding on the fallen leaves.
I dropped my coffee cup, grabbed a broom and started running towards them. “Leave him alone you bad dog!” I yelled as I recognized the injured crow. It was the male, Julius. Julia gathered herself and flew at the dog, again.
When I was a few feet away from them, the dog growled and turned toward me showing his sharp fangs, saliva drooling from his mouth. I was scared. I had no idea where the dog came from. But I gathered enough courage to keep yelling at him and swung the broom to scare him away.
The dog didn’t budge, and I was scared to move closer, so I picked up a handful of gravel and threw it at the dog. A stone must have hit a painful spot because the dog yelped and ran into the bushes.
I sighed in relief and looked for the crows. My interaction with the strange dog gave them a chance to get away. I watched them as Julius struggled for a while to fly but soon managed to reach the lower branch of the pine tree.
Everything was quiet on the property for hours. The chipmunks and squirrels hid in their nests and I didn’t hear the usual chatter of small birds either.
The next morning Julius still perched on the lower branch of the tree and I saw Julia by his side. She flew away for short periods and came back with food in her beak. Julius ate the food and lowered his head, resting. I put walnuts, bits of fruit and pieces of raw meat on the tree stump for them before I drove to work.
Later that day when I pulled into the driveway after work, I saw four crows on the branch. “Four crows will predict imminent wealth.” Grandma’s rhyme came to mind. I don’t need millions; I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I thought and smiled, feeling foolish to have such thoughts. I need a good job and enough to live a comfortable life.
I watched the crows from my car and noticed that Julia seemed to give her mate a drink from her beak. He crouched on the branch and Julia hovered over him touching his open beak. Clever bird, I thought. She brought him water from the small creek that flows in the lower part of the property.
For about two weeks I saw the four crows on the branch, they took turns to feed Julius. Then one morning, he took a short, wobbly flight. From then on, he got stronger and stronger every day. A week later they left the branch, and I assumed, flew back to their nest in the far corner of the property and I didn't see the other two crows in the backyard any longer.
One morning something peculiar happened. As I was heading outside, I saw Julia through the window by the back door. She flew to the windowsill and dropped something before flying away. Curious, I stepped out and looked at the windowsill. There was a torn finger of a blue rubber glove. I don’t use blue rubber gloves, where did she get it from, and why did she bring it here? I wondered, but then I remembered that the past week or so I kept finding small, blue items on the windowsill.
At first, I thought the wind blew there the blue jay feather, pieces of blue paper, plastic wire covering, part of a plastic bag, and a piece of blue knitting yarn, but now I realized it was Julia who kept putting “presents” on my windowsill.
Crows see colors and maybe she noticed that my favorite color is teal blue. Maybe that was her way of showing gratitude for helping to save her mate. I will never find out.
I never saw the Rottweiler again, maybe his owner visited a neighbor and he got away to go on a hunting adventure.
Do crows hold grudges? Find out next week.
I'm a writer. Am I telling you a true story or part of it is true and part of it is the figment of my imagination? You decide!
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If you like paranormal, occult stories, you might want to check out the Women of Willow Wood series by a dear friend, Lorraine Carey.
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Book 3 is coming soon which I can hardly wait to read.
Secret Societies have existed for eons, but nothing can match the powerful magic and lure such as the Women of the Willow Wood!
Erika M Szabo
Author of urban fantasy, magical realism novels and children's books,
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