Monday, December 5, 2011

A Murder of Crows

Thank you to Andrea Gutierrez  for this lovely photo

The crows have been so noisy outside my house this week. When I see crows I try to count them and I think of Heidi Holder's Crows: An Old Rhyme.

But this *murder of crows  makes me think of The Sundown Rule by Wendy Townsend. Louise, the young teen narrator states,
When I was little, I had all kinds of tanks and fish bowls in my room that I set up for the animals I found in the woods and in Marl Lake. I caught snails and dragonfly larvae and crawdads and tadpoles so I could have my own Marl Lake right in my room. I brought in so many animals Dad made a rule called the sundown rule, which said that by sundown I had to let every animal go in the place where I'd found him. 
Like many animal stories and like nature herself, there are different kinds of loss in this slim, readable volume. Townsend has a keen eye for nature and wildlife and deftly describes Louise's love of the wild and free. The crows sit noisy sentinel over it all.
...Setting aside the chocolate cake, I lifted the bucket and dumped it, letting the handle bang against it. I called out, Cah!Cah!Cah! and my heart filled up and I stood very still and listened into the distance, into the woods and all around as far as I could. Then suddenly I heard, Cah!Cah!Cah! right across Marl Lake. An answer came from the trees not far away; then another crow called out. I felt as though they had been there all along, waiting.

*A group of crows is called a flock or a murder.

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