Letter From a Crow

Tatem Herdina

Executive Poetry Editor

Dear Owner of the house on the hill,
(That is a long name so I’ll just call you Hill House)

Dear Hill House,

I bet you do not remember who I am, but I am the crow that lives in the tree at the bottom of your hill. You did us crows a kind service with that friend of yours that stands out in the field for us to perch on. How did you know we were tired from our long day of enjoying the food you graciously provided us?

We crows have a saying for our kind.


But of course, you would not understand our native tongue as we do yours. It is also something that we crows do not often see in your kind. It means, “Love Thy Neighbor.” But of course, for us crows, that saying is more literally telling us to love those who care for us. Our parents, our flock, our children, even you humans. We appreciate those who do good for us, and we will pay in kind when you are in trouble or other angry humans come to take your food; such as when you cry in the middle of the night the name of that human who frequents your house.

Hill House, I hope you know that we will protect you from the evil human who makes you cry at night. They are also mean to us, so we equally hate them. They come running at us when we sit on our friend; Scarecrow—although the name does not match him at all, he is not scared of crows one bit! But that means human chases us from our friend and from the food you give us. Sometimes they even HIT US with a scary stick.

It is really quite mean, you should get better housemates. I once had this nest-mate—my brother—who had terrible manners. He would always take the worms from our mother’s mouth all for himself! He never shared! But I do not need to worry about that anymore. He was killed by a mean cat a few seasons ago.

OH, I KNOW! I shall get my flock to kill that other human! Then you won’t have to cry anymore.

And don’t worry, Hill House. I will make sure that my children and other flock members always remember your generous deeds. As well as the bad ones that the mean human commits against us.

You will always be a friend of my flock.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I learned your language by deciphering the squawks of the mean human as he ran at us with the stick. They are very talkative. And really, it is so easy to learn! I don’t know why you humans don’t understand bird languages yet with how often we see you guys sitting outside listening to us.

If you are going to eavesdrop on our love making you should at least be kind and tell us.

Your Friend, Crow