Scarlette and myself in front of the cage of
Brandon Matthew Allen Poe
A Crow's Life
One hazy morning in May of 1993, I was driving on my way to the
gym as a small, black ball of fluff plummeted from a tree in front of me. I
stepped on the brake to stop mere inches from what landed on the pavement.
got out and found a pre-fledgling crow shivering and dazed. In the back of the
van was a milk crate that I used to hold my maps (necessary to a performer to
find the one-night-stand nightclubs that paid the bills for me). I put the towel
I had intended for soaking the sweat off my body in the bottom of the crate and
brought it to the front of the van. I gingerly picked up the down and
pin-feathered small creature who seemed in shock and placed him in the crate. I
moved my gym bag from the floor in front of the passenger seat and replaced it
with the crate to allow the heat to warm the shivering bird. I drove slowly and
deliberately back home while speaking as soothingly as I could to the crow.
came out of the door to see why I returned so soon and why I seemed in a hurry.
As I pulled the crate from the van I shouted "I have to see Kathy".
our next-door neighbor, happened to be a veterinary assistant and would probably
know what to do about our avian visitor, I reckoned. Kathy immediately gave me a
small animal carrier and a bottle of bleach. "Clean and rinse that",
she said, while gently feeling the bird to see if there were any injuries.
I was cleaning the carrier, she informed us (Scarlette had arrived by then) the
crow had what appeared to be a deformed right claw and his right wing felt too
curved. She seemed to feel that it was possible he was discarded by his parent
By this time the carrier was clean and dry (I
used an entire roll of paper towels, as much as I hate them ecologically). Kathy
slowly picked up the towel carrying the baby crow and placed it in the carrier.
placed the carrier in a quiet corner near her zebra finches and told us that there
was usually no chance for any bird that had been thrown away by it's mother, but
she would take care of it to see if it would "come back".
I went to the gym and then to work, all the time thinking about the little black
ball of fluff that was fighting for its life.