The American crow. Credit: Bob Duchesne / BDN


The BDN is looking for reader-submitted outdoor stories. Here’s one from Alice Le Merle.


A hunter’s tale? More like the hunted as I see it. Although mooses have almost never wandered through my life, I think you should know that I’ve been targeted by a canny crow I’ll call Howard (to maintain his privacy). While I saw signs of a relationship with possibilities, I really think Howard is taking advantage of me and my position in his dining-out range.

Back in the ’60s my brother, Arthur, (who enjoyed five minutes worth of TV celebrity when he introduced his “pet” blue jay,  Charlie, to Lord Snowden in Washington’s National Zoo) often praised the  intelligence of the corvid bird group. which includes crows.  So I put out peanuts. I like a fellow with brains.

One came. Howard. He now shows up with a single three-squawk announcement at 9:30 sharp every morning, and I obediently trot out with the peanuts. Then he calls out to his brothers, (Larry, Daryl and Daryl) – AND his sisters and his cousins and his aunts — so they can all pig out. Howard is just their “front man!”  Where does that leave me, except popular with Hannaford stores?

He came alone the first few times, but just when I thought this might blossom into something beautiful, have I not been the one lured into the snare?

On top of my general largess with the peanuts (unsalted), used cat food and leftovers, our place is the Delmonico’s of bird feeders. I provide Freshly Killed Meat, courtesy of my very generous cats. They really don’t have to earn their own living, but do it like most other well-fed hunters, for entertainment (Killers R Us). I wake up to a fresh mouse or vole every morning. Since we have a high fence around our yard, I’m puzzled as to their sources. “No thank you,” I murmur, “I was planning on toast today …”

While I’m not hearing any form of kudos, there was a single glossy black feather on my doorstep last week.  Do you suppose Howard is saying, “I see this going somewhere, Sweetie,” or “What a batty old lady!” We’ll see.  I’ve read they have been known to leave jewelry.

Some folks don’t like crows. Robert Frost did. And wrote this out at his Vermont farm:

“The way a crow

  Shook down on me

  The dust of snow

  From a hemlock tree

  Has given my heart

  A change of mood

  And saved some part

  Of a day I had rued.”

Do you have a hunting or fishing tale to share with BDN readers? Send it to