|Who’s a pretty boy then?|
In our house we’re celebrating the recovery of a favorite ‘pet’ – a wise old crow who’s been coming to our garden for years. Just as the dog in “Alf The Workshop Dog” is a real mutt, ‘The Crow of the World’ from the same story is also based on my real-life bird friend. We call him ‘Hook Beak’ – for reasons you can guess from his photo.
He’s the cleverest and bravest of the crows, always first to come down when we throw out food. He swaggers up, looks right in at the window with his beady eyes and squarks at us when he’s hungry. If food is too dry – he takes it to a bowl of water and sits for a few minutes whilst it soaks and softens. If there’s any left over, he hides it for later – digging little holes in the grass and covering with leaves or moss.
Recently he showed up with a wounded leg, hardly able to walk. The other crows were pecking at him, keeping him away from food. He became increasingly bedraggled and we were worried he wouldn’t survive, especially with the constant bullying. We knew he was braver and more confident than most of his oppressors. We guessed he would approach closer than the others if we stayed in the garden to frighten them away. We made up some pasta (his favorite!) mixed with tinned dog meat. Sure enough he flapped down to feed while we stood guard. The bullies just squawked and postured at a distance. His courage and intelligence got him his three meals a day in peace. This weekend he’s looking glossy and sleek. His limp has more or less gone and he can once more hold his own in the pecking order. He’s also very busy delivering food to a nest in a nearby oak tree – we think he may soon be teaching a young apprentice all his tricks!
The Great Crow Of The World is a major character in my kid’s book Alf The Workshop Dog which has been doing great and has reached #1 Bestseller in Time Travel, Pets, and Chapter Books in USA, UK and Canada. To celebrate, the second book in the series Isabella’s Pink Bicycle is going free 12-13-14 May. Come along and meet another animal – that cool pole cat for a tight spot – Frankie Ferret. Who needs a Fairy Godmother when you’ve got a Ferret Godfather?
Emma Thinx: You can’t bully your way to courage.