I had always heard about how smart crows were but I also knew that along with magpies they are about the most irritating and obnoxious creatures on earth. As a kid I would watch them from my bedroom window during the spring time. In the mornings one by one they appeared in the yard. For whatever reason they always arrived at the first glimpse of dawn. Some of the crows would hop around on the grass while others would pound their little feet on the roof of the house. Eventually they would all congregate to the branches of a massive tree that sat in the middle of the yard. They would then start their unbearable ritual of cawing that would go on for hours and hours. At some points of the day there would be more than a hundred crows perched on the tree.
When they were up in the tree and if one wanted to leave the house you would have to race to the garage or move in a covert manner to escape their attacks. Day by day the crows became more and more controlling of our yard. The strange thing was whenever my little five year old brother Joey went outside he never had a problem with the crows.
Little Joey would talk to the birds, he would feed him, and he would walk around the yard and neighborhood with several of them perched on his head and shoulders. He loved the crows and they loved him. Soon he was making cawing noises and all different types of crow calls as he had learned to communicate with them. It was almost as if he was becoming a crow. My parents started to become concerned because he wanted to keep some of them in the house that were injured. Soon there was over a dozen crippled birds in his room that were on the mend. My parents anxiety increased and they sent little Joey to a psychologist and by this time he was no longer speaking English but making only crows calls and noises to communicate with the psychologist. My parents grew restless.
Over the next few weeks my parents noticed that Joey was hiding things in the ground for the crows to unearth. It was usually some sort of food that he would hide. But as the days passed by one could see that it was a game of hide and seek so other birds and animals could not find the food meant for the crows.
Then one day at the age of six little Joey walked out of the yard with two crows on each shoulder and vanished. The police looked for him for weeks in the bush and could not track him down. Apparently he had gone to live with the crows. My family was heartbroken. Then about a month later the crows all returned to sit on the tree in the back yard, but there was no little Joey. I sadly watched the crows dig little holes, hide food and cover it up with dirt. I went out into the yard wanting to kill every one of them. I screamed obscenities at them and cursed into the air. I started kicking up the dirt where they had buried food just to upset them. That's when I noticed an eyeball and part of a finger in the dirt. Then there was a screeching caw that came from the near distance. I turned around and swooping around the corner of the house was a crow with Joey's head held in its beak.