The other day, this crow flew by our driveway puddle. He dipped a foot in, decided it was perfect for a bath, and dove in with wild abandon. Then he calmly walked away down the street, his feathers glistening with water. He amused me, and it made me think of Billy. In our forty years of marriage, my husband has regaled me with stories of Billy, the pet crow his family had while he was growing up. Billy lived in a large cage outside, but could come and go as he pleased. Now my father-in-law was a preacher and the family lived in the parsonage. The church had no air-conditioning, so the windows had to be opened in warm weather. And every Sunday morning as soon as Phil's dad started preaching, Billy started to caw right outside the window. He cawed through the whole sermon, to the aggravation of everyone. But Billy had a certain well known fear, and it was the lawnmower. Phil's dad finally hit on the solution of putting the lawnmower in front of billy's cage right before every sermon. Billy ran to the back, where he cowered in fear till the sermon was over and the lawnmower removed. Billy also liked to perch up on the roof and wait for younger brother to come home from school, and then dive bomb him, sending him running into the house in fear. He had a great fondness for shiny things, which he stole and then hid. Once he took the lock off another pet's cage and stuffed it up the drain pipe, where it wasn't found until a long time later. One day Billy just disappeared and was never seen again. Billy was a scoundrel, and there was more than one person who wanted him gone. But I like to think that one spring day, he felt the wanderlust, spread his wings, and flew away to see what was beyond the parsonage and his cage. Perhaps he even found a lady love, then flew back home to find those shiny trinkets he had hidden as love offerings.
"Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there. So he did as the Lord had told him...The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook." 1 Kings 17