THE BOY AND THE CROW, a Beechmount short story
July 25, 2013 by Beechmount
A little story based on recollections from my childhood.
Is it not true that children’s stories often begin with: “Once upon a time” and that those stories mostly have a happy ending?
The following little story does just that.
Once upon a time, many, many years ago, there was a little boy who learned to talk to a crow, or perhaps it is more correct to say that a crow learned to understand what the boy said.
The boy, whose name was Lawrence, had just turned nine a few month ago and he had many friends. Sometimes, when he went for a walk on the ramparts of the old fortress that surrounded the town where he was born, he liked to go alone,. It was such a grand place to go and play. Many trees and bushes were growing there; and he could sit and watch the little bids flittering about and listening to them singing.
One fine summer day, Lawrence asked his mother if he could have a sandwich to take with him, for he wanted to go and play on the ramparts. His mother looked at him funny kind of, and asked if he planned on staying there a long time. Lawrence said that he didn’t, but sometimes he would get hungry when he was running around all over the place, and that’s why he wanted to bring a sandwich along. His mother complied with his wish, and off he went.
The ramparts were close to home, so it only took him a few minutes to get there. He walked up the gravel path leading to the top of one of them. It was springtime and the great, big horse chesnutt trees, towering along the outer edge of the path, were flowering, their candle-like white sprigs reaching for the sunlight. They looked very pretty, but Lawrence liked them better in the fall, when the trees were filled with chestnuts. They were fun to collect and play with, or use to throw at crows and other big birds that always seemed to hang around the ramparts.
There were walking trails on top of all of them, and here and there a bench was placed, where people could sit and rest and enjoy the scenery. Lawrence had a favourite bench to sit on. It was surrounded by many trees and lots of birds were flying around or jumping about in the branches, some were chirping and others singing. It was a splendid place to sit and watch them and he loved doing that.
After walking for a while, he came to his bench and sat down. He could hear a woodpecker tapping away on a tree somewhere nearby and it made him think about one of his favourite cartoons, ‘Woody Woodpecker’ which he saw in the movie theaters on Sundays, when his mother would let him go and watch. He run toward the sound, but didn’t catch a glimpse of it.
Back at the bench, he sat down again. He wasn’t really hungry, but opened the wrapped sandwich and took a bite of it. Just then, he saw a crow flying toward him and for a moment he thought it was going to attack him. They were known to do so if they had a nest nearby; at least, that’s what his dad had told him. Instead, however and much to his surprise, the crow landed on the backrest of the bench, only a few feet away from him.
“Well, hello Mr. Crow” said Lawrence. The crow sounded off with a muted “cah, cah” and began walking closer to him, one careful step at a time. It came so close that Lawrence could touch it, but he didn’t, being afraid of scaring it away.
Lawrence didn’t know what to do. He took another bite of his sandwich and the crow let out a ‘cahhh-cahhh and jumped up on Lawrence’s shoulder. It frightened him a bit, for this was a new experience for him. Suddenly, he realised the crow wanted his sandwich. Slowly he took a small bite, and again the crow said “Cahhh, Cahhh” and moved a bit on his shoulder.
“Mr. Crow, are you hungry?”
The crow didn’t say anything, so he took a piece of his sandwich and offered it to the crow. “Cah, Cah, Cah” said the crow and took the morsel from his hand.
“Would you like another piece” asked Lawrence.
The crow said “Cahhh, cahhh” and he thought this meant yes and gave him another bite. The crow said ”Cah,cah, cah” and took the bread. Lawrence was now certain the three short “Cah’s” meant either ‘thank you’ or just ‘yes’. He tried one more time, and the result was the same.
Soon the sandwich was gone. “Look, Mr. Crow, it’s all gone now” he said, showing his empty hands to it.
The crow looked at him with his dark eyes and took off with a long ‘Caaahh.’. Which Lawrence was sure meant goodbye.
When he returned home, he didn’t tell his mother about the encounter with the crow, thinking that she wouldn’t believe him if he said he had talked to a crow.
All summer long and well into the fall, Lawrence kept going back to that bench on the rampart and faithfully, the crow would come back to get some small pieces of his sandwich and they became very good friends.