Raven Visit

Raven on deckI’d walk out to the outhouse, so that I could pee in the woods, and see the black raven sitting on the branch in the darkening light. His wings would be so black, his eyes black, his feet black, his big black beak. He was black as night and soon I wouldn’t be able to see him at all. As the sun was setting I could see the iridescent gloss of blues and purples on his black wings. I loved to see him fly so high, his wings outstretched to 4 feet with the four thin feather fingers on the tips—swooshing in the air. He and his mate would make rolls, somersaults, in the clear blue sky, just for fun, just for joy. I could hear him calling to her, in his deep throated cree, cree, gronk, gronk, knock, knock. I’d often hear them call to each other when I walked in our woods. They’d follow me. They came to tell me secrets.

Of course they would, they wanted to tell me about the woods, about their carrion find up the path, about how they mate for life, and just hang out in pairs. They wanted to tell me that they too can problem solve, like I can, and can take a rock and drop it on someone who they don’t like, or steal a fish from a fisherman or point with their beaks to indicate where an object is. They can call to the wolves and tell them about the site of a dead carcass so that the wolves chew open the bones and viscera and leave the scraps for them. The black raven, messenger of the gods, trickster, friend of coyote, who stole fire from the Sun and then delivered this gift of warmth to poor-naked-shivering-man.

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