How She Suffers For My Art



Early this morning, while I was catching up with my WordPress reading, Jackie rushed in with the small camera, having photographed a young crow on the roof of the garden shed.

Crow with bread

I abandoned my computer, grabbed the DSLR, and limped into the garden. Jackie had  provided her new friend with a crust of bread lit by the dawn sun,

Crow with insect

which it soon eschewed for something more to its taste.

She coaxed the bird down from the roof, and was delighted when it made her “feel like Long John Silver” from R. L. Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’.

Her face was then to register a whole gamut of emotions, from pleasure, pain, apprehension, courage, and a touch of agony.

When she could tolerate no more my Lady transferred the tormentor to her outstretched hand.

Jackie tells me that the pecking is what the young birds do to the parents in order to encourage feeding. She was amazing in her tolerance of the attentions of such a savage beak closing on her ear and tugging at her hair.

Young avians do not instinctively know they are birds. They are known to ‘imprint’ onto an early carer. Crows, in particular, are such creatures. Imprinting onto a human may promote a human identity. The corvine variety are able to recognise faces. I wonder which of Jackie’s will be in the memory bank.

Some time later, our new family member trotted indoors and wandered about. I perched it onto the end of my crutch and led it outside. It kept returning. The consequences were the need for a hunt for bird poo to clean up, and an eventual decision to keep the doors closed.

Jackie continued her mammoth garden watering sessions and her infant kept landing on her head and shoulders until, in desperate self-defence, she turned the spray on young Crow.

This evening we dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away fare. Drinks on the patio had included Jackie’s customary Hoegaarden and a miniature bottle of Argentinian Malbec for me. I had saved some to accompany the meal. Jackie hadn’t. I couldn’t resist checking on our little bird who was finishing his second slice of bread on the shed roof.

While Mrs. Knight was collecting our food we were hit by a power cut which continued until 10.30 p.m. This meant my post was late into the ether, but I consider myself lucky to have managed it at all.






  1. I love crows and am absolutely delighted by this post. Thank you so much, Derrick and Jackie. (Although that header photo looks like something out of Hitchcock!)

  2. Great photos. Is it black beak for crows, or yellow? We have a very big creature with a black beak which I thought a raven, and we just saw some big ones with yellow beaks who seemed to take a chipmunk, or at least to take its body if perhaps it was already dead.

      1. I am unsure what they were, but they’re in the US. I have tried to lok them up–I’ll let you know if I find out.

        Jackie is a marvellous good sport to pose for the photos. She must be very fond of birds.

  3. Poor baby, it seemed so determined to love Jackie to pieces (literally) and all it gets in return is a hunk of bread and a free shower! What will you do if it has already imprinted and really intends to be yours forever and ever? 🙂 Crows are also known to be pretty tenacious….. Please adopt it and call it Jim no matter which sex it is 🙂

  4. Oh my gosh! This is the funniest post I’ve ever read, Derrick! Looks like you might have a little competition with that crow…he thinks Jackie’s ear are pretty tasty. Terrific action shots!

  5. What a wonderful post! I love crows. I’ve read that they remember people they like and people they don’t like. But I’m certain he’s going to remember Jackie and you.

  6. I love the photos of Jackie and her crow companion! Crows are highly intelligent, and this crow could not have chosen a more worthy human companion.

    Life has been in the summer work fast lane here, Derrick and Jackie, and I am sorry to have been away and just be diving in again. I trust you are healing up nicely, Derrick. I am off to harp guitar retreat soon here too, and my own June post may not be until early July. 🙂

  7. There’s definitely a bond there between Jackie and the crow. So interesting to be open to this … and letting that youngster into your home was brave. Love the photos you took Derrick 💕❤️💕

  8. Wow – that was awesome. I had no idea they could be so tame. Jackie was quite a (hilarious) sport. I’ll be curious to hear if the little guy stays around.

  9. My hat’s off to Jackie. I wonder if this crow has been fed by other humans, perhaps imprinted on someone who had enough. Or maybe it’s Jackie’s kind heart – animals can sense these things as you know. Either way, it makes for interesting times! Enjoy!

  10. The crow holding the crust and lit by the rising sun makes a perfect picture. The time lapse of the bird frolicking with Jackie is precious. Are you and Jackie going to adopt it?

  11. Wow…Pretty cool Derrick. Love the pictures of Jackie. You know Terry’s sprit had been transformed into a black crow in some of my earlier posts. Remember the tricks that this bird used to play on me when I was back in Cocoa Beach? Maybe it was actually Terry visiting you. Takes a while to fly from the U.S. to the U.K.

  12. AW! and HA! 🙂 OH HOW WONDERFUL! Jackie not only has two green thumbs, she’s also a bird-whisper-er and has a bird whispering in her ear! 😉 😀

    Did the crow get a name?! I’m sure the crow thinks of her as Mama now! 🙂
    Crows are so smart and beautiful!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  13. A study in facial expressions! Brilliant! Good for Jackie to allow the birds attentions for so long…of course, there always seems to be a price when we get close to birds and animals…pooh being one of these! They just don’t understand how humans work! 😀😀

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