Sunday, July 12, 2009

how Crow met susan

Crow here. Since I've never told you how I first encountered susan I thought today would be a good time to remedy that oversight.

One spring morning long ago in human terms, but not so very distant in mine, I happened to be flying over the green rolling hills of the southern Ontario countryside. It had been a long flight that left me feeling in need of rest, so spying a tall tree just beginning to sprout it's foliage, I took on the guise of a normal crow and prepared to land. What to my surprise should I discover beneath the tree but a little girl making dandelion garlands? She seemed to be perfectly content but it was a strange place to find a child all alone for it was a cemetery and not too far away from where she sat were rows of old headstones and a little old church in the distance.

Being too curious to maintain my usual reserve I had to ask, 'Why are you out here by yourself, child?'
Not the least surprised about being addressed by a bird she answered, 'I just got expelled from Sunday school.'
'Why was that?'
'The teacher told me since I wouldn't stop asking impossible questions and was disrupting the class I couldn't be there anymore.'
'Does that upset you?'
'No, I like it out here better.'
'What's better about out here than in there?'
'Out here I don't care about the questions I asked in there.'
'I see.'

I stayed nearby until her father drove into the lane near the church and she ran off to meet him. By then I'd taken an interest and planned to return.

The next time I saw her was winter, nearly Christmas, and a school pageant featuring a play written by her teacher had been planned and rehearsed for weeks. The expected captive audience of these events - parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins and neighbors - were all gathered to see the children perform. As I stood in the wings waiting while they donned their costumes and all was made ready on stage I found a copy of the script which appeared to be about Santa, Mrs. Santa, toy making elves and the reindeer having a boisterous adventure on their way to meet the Baby Jesus and his retinue. Forgive me for not being able to discern a more detailed plot synopsis but it was clear the writer was never going to challenge my old friend Will Shakespeare. The good thing about it was that it allowed parts for all the children of the second grade as well as their pets and some favorite toys to be on the stage at once. The audience members were checking their Brownies and flash attachments.

The curtains parted and the play began. Unfortunately, the children had only rehearsed in daytime without an audience and without the pets dressed up with bells and antlers. Chaos ensued.

Suddenly one little girl yelled, 'Stop!' and everybody went very still and looked at her. Wearing her little fairy crown and fancy dress my little susan imperiously and in no uncertain terms told the other children they were standing in the wrong places and weren't delivering the correct lines. So they all shuffled around and started over while the audience erupted in gales of laughter. Her parents, sitting near the front, tried to hide their embarrassment.

How could I not love a little girl like that? She was going to need some help.


  1. who has the better bargain: the patient crow in the tree or the girl with the power to stop the world? or maybe it is the combination that is so wonderful (c: all of the above)

  2. Crow, you seem to be attracted to strong women with rebellious spirits. I love that about you.

    And, Susan, thank you for letting crow post this story. I have long been curious about how you two meant.
    I love that there are drawings of this momentus meeting.

  3. Crow, you are the best storyteller! Susan was meant to lead!

  4. as Sera said, "the girl with the power to stop the world". this is what our daughters need to learn from us - that the world CAN be stopped, and that we can make it happen ...sons too, for that matter, but they don't get overlooked as often as daughters. how could you not love that little girl, Crow?

  5. marja-leena - Merci beaucoup, Mlle.

    sera - See picture of Crow T. Rookery preening.

    belette - Meeting ladies like yourself who have become friends of susan is reward enough.

    nancy - I have to give her a nudge now and then so she doesn't lead herself over a cliff.

    gary - It's all in the quill.

    gfid - Sometimes she gets sad when nobody seems to hear her yelling 'Stop!' nowadays. I tell her time wounds all heels.

  6. "time wounds all heels."
    ? in one swell foop?

  7. crow t. rookery? that's a lovely name. it reminds me of a nest in moonlight, lined with down.

  8. What I wouldn't give to travel back in time to witness this event. I would have given you a standing ovation.

  9. This susan sounds like a troublemaker and a blasphemer. Careful there, Crow.

  10. am having problems leaving comments today but am trying again-had them last night too....sigh.....

    crow, what a lucky old crow you are to have met such a lovely whimsically intelligent and sweet spirit as lovely was fun hearing your story and tell susan the art is wonderful, or do you take credit for it? I think it looks like susan's work but .... pondering....

    watch out for those jays!

  11. gfid - One can only hope.

    sera - At my age I need the comfort.

    spartacus - You'll be glad to know that's exactly what I did.

    randal - I see you've picked up on some of the reasons I like her.

    linda - It was serendipity. You're correct in noticing susan did the drawings under my direction. Sometimes it's inconvenient not having opposable thumbs but generally acceptable.

  12. Dear Crow, I offer this twig to you, and do the bonding dance of joy for you. You have captured my heart and lift up my soul. What more could anyone ask?


  13. sweet sister crow - We shall trip the light fantastic of the bonding dance together :-)

  14. I am sure our friend "Crowe" was a delighful teacher who encouraged a defiant young Susan so amazingly well -to recount a wonderful story to entertain us magically and to captivate us with her drawings.

    Best wishes

  15. methinks susan had things well in hand, no help required ;)

  16. lindsay - She wasn't so much defiant as confused by the 'do as I say not as I do' aspects of life.

    :D wolf - Perhaps, but it's always nice to have a friend ;-)

  17. it's a positive development when one discovers the wind beneath his wings isn't flatulence.

  18. sera - They do add the occasional extra lift :-)

  19. Crow, you have just taken your proper mythic proportions. Thank you for this story of Susan. I know her a great deal better now.

  20. Though I am mostly out of the blog skies lately, I'm glad I flew in for this one. Every little girl needs a Crow like you. And a spirit that gets her expelled from the fake church to the real one.

    The drawings are wonderful, and that little side glance of yours from the wings. :)

  21. utah - I've tried for years to get her to overcome her introverted nature :-)

    rene - Welcome back and I liked your phrase 'expelled from the fake church to the real one'. The real one can't be imposed indoctrination by the ignorant.

    You just missed the wink ;-)

  22. I would have like to have been there to see you wearing your little fairy crown. (I like graveyards, too!)