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Friday, September 25, 2009

CROW TALK


A dozen or so crows were in the lawn pecking at apple slices I'd put out for them. A hawk flew through the space from the left side where there is meadow, to the right side where there is meadow. It caught my attention from the corner of my eye. It looked like a rabbit flying about 4ft above the ground from left to right. All the crows lifted into the air at once and took off flying. The hawk came back by from the right, flying after a crow that went around the left side of the house.




The the hawk came back and flew over the lawn chasing a crow that flew up into a locust tree. The hawk landed in the tree a few branches below the crow. It jumped a branch toward the crow. The crow jumped a branch away. The hawk hopped a branch again. The crow hopped a branch, the crow using the tree for protection from the hawk, and I had a feeling it was decoying the hawk to give the other crows time to get away. It can't fly and maneuver in the tree. The crow and the hawk sat and groomed themselves for a little while, thinking about what to do next. The crow left the tree flying fast as it could go. The hawk took off after it. It was a big hawk, not a redtail. The tail feathers had black and brown bars. I didn't know hawks went after crows. Of course they would. Evidently a crow can outmaneuver a hawk like a mockingbird can outmaneuver a crow.




A couple days ago I was sitting on the porch watching 2 buzzards circling in a thermal the other side of the road. A crow flew in among them and joined them circling, the crow riding the updraft like the buzzards, around and around. Then, like a buzzard, the crow left the circle and glided in a straight line to where it wanted to go.




Today for the first time I played call and response with a crow. I'd stepped out to the porch while the crow was on a fence rail. It flew to the trees across the highway. I watched it and saw it light on a branch. After a short time it let out a crow sound, not the caw, but one of their many other sounds. I called back, imitating the best I could, which wasn't very good, but close enough I believed it got the bird's attention. The crow made another call, and I imitated that one, again, the best I could, which wasn't much, but the crow was getting it that I was attempting to grasp its language.




Imitating words like a child. That's yellow. Say yellow. Yell-ow. Good. Say it again. Yell-ow. That's kind of how it was. The crow gave me a sound to imitate and I did the best I could. I don't think it mattered that I wasn't exact; it was close enough to let the crow know I was imitating. I was, after all, one of the giants that every living thing is afraid of for good reason. The crow was getting it the giant that throws apple slices and other treats to the crows was attempting communication, paying attention to his language, repeating it back to him, the best the human could do. We went on like this for probably 15 or 20 minutes. They make clicking sounds too, sounds really difficult to imitate. I returned clicking sounds, but not nearly as fast as a crow can make them. It was one of the moments of my life I hold as a treasure and will never forget.




I felt like I was communicating across at least two major leaps in consciousness. When I had chickens in childhood that were my pets, plus they made eggs to eat, we communicated very well. I had birds in cages in childhood too. A couple of canaries, one at a time, and a couple of parakeets the same way. My first 10 years in the mountains I kept a flock of chickens. So I go into this exchange with the crow having a little experience with bird consciousness.





This crow in the tree across the road seemed a bit dumbfounded to witness one of the giants of the earth calling back, imitating it so many times that the bird knew I was playing a mind game with it. It made quite a variety of the sounds crows make, which I find rather complex like sounds in a language that are spoken a particular way. Especially, now that I know crows have to learn their language, that it is a language. Like in Chinese where the same word has different meanings according to the tone. We have that too in certain words with a range of meanings, like rendition. Same tone, very different meanings.




A moment of communication with even a human is one of the most delightful aspects of life on earth. I don't mean communication like television is communications, because it's not. Communication is when it's between two consciousnesses, human, dog, possum, duck. I turn on a tv and it's Ellen DeGeneris talking. She's not talking to me. She's just talking. She's a talking artist, so she has a talk show.




Australian aborigines believe our voices are meant for singing praise to the Creator only. Talk is jabber full of lies, interpretations, self-serving memory, no good, not worth the energy expended. I feel in touch with the flow when I'm able to have a verbal exchange with someone of another language. We can always manage when our languages aren't the same. I've got around in Greece and Italy and Germany not knowing any of those languages, and was able to communicate outside language. Like some one in Greece says, Par-a-ka-lo. I say, Par-a-ka-lo. I sound like a parrot, but it's a moment of communication. The crow says something and I say it back until it becomes a game and we communicate playing a verbal game. Evidence to me the four-leggeds and winged have intelligence too, they like games.












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