Crow

Driving home in the spring twilight. Through the window came the fragrant exhilarating air that stimulates birds into mating frenzies and fatal mistakes.

I’d just seen two noisy miners dipping dangerously close to the front of my car when suddenly I had to brake.  

There was a build up in the right lane which was not unusual in this strip of commercial businesses.

But I realised it wasn’t a turning car holding up the line when I saw one  veer almost to the opposite side to avoid something. The queue began to inch forward and then I saw the reason:-

Not even the crow, the smartest of all the species, is immune to misjudgement during this silly season.

Large and magnificent, but crippled – its shimmering wings useless and its feet dragging – he was hauling himself across to the centre of the road, its white luminous eye staring, its beak opening and closing in pain and shock. Does its intelligence give it the capacity to hope against fate?

I was approaching and wanting to help as he reached a narrow painted traffic island – a refuge of sorts – but as I drew up beside and looked down, he died.

The next day he was just paste and a tattered wing. A week later there wasn’t even a stain to mark his last desperate act.