Ravens, Not Writing Desks
Perhaps it’s the inky black feathers which, when sunlight fastens upon them, flash indigo. Or their catty way of communicating from lookouts lodged atop the highest trees.Time and again I have observed them in the Maine woods and in the absolute stillness of the New Mexican high desert. And what I have come to comprehend is that many of their seemingly indiscriminate cries are not devoid of purpose. One or more seem ever poised as lookouts, strung along a pathway only they might care to claim as their own. And when danger seems imminent, the deep guttural cawing begins – slowly at first, as the primary lookout bird’s sharp beady eyes detect intrusion. Then along the line it continues, sentries escalating alarm into a collective crescendo until the event elapses – even if it is only a harmless human walking a dog.
Ravens are bold and will look you directly in the eye, unlike many fellow scavengers. And when you try imitating them, if you are earnest, they will cock their heads, search your features as if sensing sincerity and, if you are fortunately inclined, answer you back.
Why is a raven like a writing desk?
~ The Mad Hatter