fredag 26. august 2011

Those black, feathery greetings

It was there again, not really making a sound. Just walking around on the snow and ice, appearently unaffected by the conditions which were scaring the upcloaked pupils, which - lucky for them - could lighten the fear with swearing words. The crows, anyways, were just walking around, slowly, or just standing there, observing, or contemplating the existence of those strange pupils.

The fear was also felt by a 16-year-old girl. She had seen the way the crows were staring, she had heard about talking crows, she had heard about scientific experiments showing that crows are not only able to use tools, but also to make simple ones.

I did not feel fear, I felt relief that day I have in mind, described in the first paragraph. Relief, for the same reason that all animals are a welcome presence. They are perceived as natural just by their existence, and even though we could say that everything which exists is natural - because its existence, obviously, is situated in our world, and cannot really be explained out of it, or out from time - we think that animals or birds have not internalized history. Therefore, we can feel relief. We are not faced by the historically created prejudices which we are faced with when dealing with human beings.

Again, I´ve felt relief later in life, when I´ve seen the crows. Why? They are like porridge - they are universal. They are worldwide. At least almost. They are not supposed to be in South America or Antarctica, but except from that, they can be found in the whole world. When I came to Estonia, I was happy to see my friends here, too. Nicely, I can probably also see them in winter. If you say hi to a certain crow enough times, it might even start greeting you. In a Norwegian kindergarden the workers were worried when they heard childish voices screaming "hello" from a tree. Still, there were no children there. It was just the crows.

I used to see crows in the village where I grew up, along with the seagulls. Still, the crows were better, because they never made noise like the seagulls did. I saw them outside secondary school, even on icy, cold days. They were in Lithuania. They were in Oslo. And they are here in Estonia. They´ve also been meeting me when I´ve travelled in different countries. Almost everyone can recognise that bird. It has also featured in many of the world´s myths and folk beliefs, either in the form of the common crow, or in the form of ravens. Quite frequently, their roles have also been positive. That means the crow is a good international symbol, and a being which - at least for my part - actually eases the feeling of being lost in foreign places, quite simply because the crow is not foreign. Still - that is a truth with modifications: crows in different places might have different knowledge. One example is the way they in Japan have learnt to break things by throwing them on the road, so that the cars can drive over the objects. Dropping them on roadcrossings is convenient, because as soon as the light turns green, the crow can pick up its object again, lets say nut.

Today I saw a crow stretching out its leg. All of a sudden it seemed so long, and so crooked that I understood why crooked things might be named after crow´s legs. In Norwegian it is common to call bad handwriting for crow´s toes, and a certain plant or heather is also named after it. Well - the crow all of a sudden appeared to be standing on something, being taller than usual, like it had put on the high heels for the occasion. It was quite soon standing in its common position again, and laying its head a little bit to the side, seeming to make some conclusion.

It´s easy to understand why crows are perceived to be intelligent. Some research also shows that corvids, crow birds, outperform cats and dogs.

 I don´t know where I´ll move after Tartu, Estonia, but I´m quite sure there will be crows.


2 kommentarer:

Javi Fairground sa...

I read this text out loud by myself while listening to this(http://open.spotify.com/track/3d79ipuWesZknhoeSCeeha) Feeling quite relaxed now. :)

Quite a nice text..made me contemplate a little bit about crows and what I think about them. Interesting.

Nikolai sa...

Thanks. =)

Sadly, I don´t have spotify, so I can´t check out the track. I might get it in the future, or maybe you have the link to a youtube video with the same song? =)

Actually, writing a blog entry about crows was something I was thinking about long time ago. Finally I did. Right after I wrote it, I read an Estonian fairytale about a crow and a fox, by the way. ;)