This past Sunday I was inspecting the woodstoves for leaks that could possibly kill us with carbon monoxide. Completely unlikely, given the built-in holes and gaps on most manufactured wood-burning junk that gets hawked in this country with a safety rating of delicious!
My wife walked up behind me and said “We have a guest.”
I was worried someone had breached the driveway gate that separates us from the highway of sad all night store dick-pills and cinnamon flavored ethanol mindfuck-drink. It was worse. She was holding an injured crow.

My initial take was it wasn’t too badly injured. But it was bad. And my wife usually doesn’t bother to bring me the things she thinks she can’t fix, because she’s a fucking magician.

I’m the last line against death sometimes. And I’m wanting. All I’ve got is “The Love Massage”, which is effective in about 10% of extreme cases. And I set about trying, because Crows are smarter than us, and because I missed the last crow we had here so bad I wanted to try and replace her. I held her up on my hands and she had a decent grip, but she was disturbingly calm.

Crows fight. They hate you unless you’ve had a few months together for the crow to describe its parameters. This one was all love. My heart began to sink immediately. I thought about a friend of ours whose husband would go on crow hunts until a baby crow showed up on their place, and they raised it, and they saw how strangely smart it was, and how it loved them. And when it died, how it was like losing a child. That sense of something irrecoverable. These are people who have raised children, so I know I’m not entirely crazy.

I decided at the outset I would invest too much. It would be worth it. I would torment this animal to keep it awake through what I thought was botulism. 48 hours and she’d make it. Initially she responded well to syringes full of egg yolk and sugar and vitamin B, but her strength tapered off after the first twelve hours and I was left just holding her up against me for warmth while she died.

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