Why is there a picture of me with a non crow, an Eagle Owl, when this is about crows? I have liked crows for a long time but I used to fear them. It was because of a close encounter of a crow kind that I used to have a fear of birds flying near my head. I cannot recall what age I was but I was definitely a little person. I was standing in the middle of the school hall and a crow got in. It could not get out and it just flew around and around the room banging into the windows and walls at literally breakneck speed. I just put my chin down and buried it in my neck and closed my eyes, terrified. The whirring and banging seemed to go on and on and then there was a thump on my head closely followed by a splat and the crow lay there on the floor dead. I cannot remember how I reacted at that point but I think that the adjective “traumatised” might suffice. After that I would cringe and recoil if birds started zeroing in too close to my head.
What do you do if a child has a fear of birds? Get them to look after the school aviary. Make the little birds dependent upon her for food in the holidays. Not strictly true because I remember a girl called Karen Morrow helping me. The aviary inmates were small fluttery birds like budgies, canaries etc and their feeding pots were placed at various points so there was no alternative but to walk across the cage. I used to stare at their fluttery little bodies and my friend used to tell me to pick one up and hold it. I said no way would I do that because they might take off and flap around my head. I did venture in to fill their bowls but I was scared witless but I could not let them starve.
I think I just spent my childhood walking around Kent praying that no birds would come too close to me. I went to Tipperary to stay with a friend’s family and a crow got into my bedroom and was flying round and round. I dived under the covers and screamed the place down and the family came running in. They managed to get the crow out but they were distressed because a crow coming into the house was a bad omen, foretelling a death. Good job one of the men had a bottle of 100% vodka to calm our chattering teeth.
When I moved to London, I used to find Trafalgar Square a no go zone as those pigeons do not understand the word boundary and always do a fly past as close as they can to heads. I eventually had budgies again (my parents had two but they never left their cage )(the birds stayed in the cage , not my parents) and I willed myself to put my hands in the cages and clean them for them.
Then there was Oscar. He was a cockatoo who was offered to me because he had been evicted from his previous home for making too much mess. He did used to spit his food out as far as he could but he would behave a little better if you wedged a rolled up sock on the wire of his cage. He would spend hours shagging it so that resolved the problem a little. On one occasion he got out of his cage and would not go back in.He was walking across the carpet pecking my feet as I was stumbling backwards. I was too intimidated to attempt to pick him up as I envisioned him flapping around my head and rebooting my phobia so I edged my way out of the room and presented a tea towel to my daughter’s friend and offered her 50 pence to catch him. Best money I’ve ever spent.
Gradually I outgrew my fear of the flyers and the proof of that was when I went with friends to visit an Owl Sanctuary. I managed to let an Eagle Owl perch on my hand. Part of me was cringing but I did manage to do it and he flapped his wings close to my head and I didn’t regress and cause any havoc so I guess I can say I am cured.
I have begun to really like birds and have taken particular notice of crows. They are everywhere. They are very interestint birds. I was reading an article this morning that was discussing how intelligent they are and how they will probably attempt to take over the world one day. They can use tools, they have facial recognition abilities and they can work out the actions of people who are hidden. Perhaps they are studying us. I think we need to keep a beady eye on them to see what else they are capable of. Be ready for the day when they make their take over bird bid.
“Be not afraid of crows: some are born crows, some attain crowness and some have crowness thrust upon them”