A heart shape leaf

November 1, 2007

 On the way to work today I spotted a heart shaped leaf on the sidewalk. Normally this would not occasion comment, there are a lot of moderately heart shaped leaves, but this particular one so embodied the form I took it as a mild positive omen. I stood there for a few seconds admiring it; buoyed somewhat. A crow then swept down, picked up my leaf heart in it’s spiteful beak, hopped a few steps, looked me in the eyes, then dropped it into the sewer. I am not an angry person. I do not, as a general rule, abuse animals. But I am telling you right now: I kicked that crow…I kicked that crow clear across the street.

My fellow pedestrians were understandably shaken by my sudden (and from their perspective) inexplicable act of violence. There were mummers of “asshole” and “that guy just kicked a bird across the street”. A sturdy young woman with a hatchet face lectured me on basic human decency and our responsibility to our animal brethren. I found myself  unable to explain the karmic slap in face I’d just received, and how it wholly justified my actions. Admittedly my love life is in a state of flux at the moment; but I don’t need some magic fucking crow rubbing it in my face with an art house performance piece.

 In the end I absorbed the social censure without comment. The crow flew away unharmed and I was left to ponder why the city had chosen to shame me.    

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9 Responses to “A heart shape leaf”

  1. Jive Says:

    I am normally the kind of person who strongly advocates the kicking of people who kick animals which in your case probably would have resulted in me getting a beat down. That aside, I can’t help but be in awe of the circumstances. On any other day I would argue that malice is a human, not an animal, trait. Even the classic cat toying with a mouse scenario to me is a result of instinct. The drive to hunt is always there even when well fed because you never know when the lean times will come.

    But I find myself unable to dispute your interpretation of the scenario. The crow somehow read your mind and wanted to fuck with you. It was being an asshole. The part of me that passed calculus insists that this is just normal animal behavior, it wanted food or nesting material and changed it’s mind about the leaf. The fact that it looked at you was just caution on its part. The fact that it dropped the leaf in the sewer mere coincidence. The rest of me is unconvinced.

    No harm done, it flew away. You gave some other people the chance to stand up for their views on the humane treatment of animals. And you verified that you can still move pretty quick to kick some ass if you need to. I say you write the crow off as the re-incarnation of sadistic jackass and call this one a win.

  2. max Says:

    Poor Bunny. In native lore, Crow medicine is very powerful and the Crow people can shape their forms. Crow is the keeper of the law — not man made law, spiritual law — and a visit like that would mean you are denying your true path and are out of harmony and Crow is telling you so. That or some shaman is really pissed at you and paying visits in shifted form to mess with you. [wink]

  3. baredfeetandteeth Says:

    I wonder…if it’s your heart embodied in leaf form, then certainly the crow is a shithead and deserved what he/she got, though your examination of it is more interesting than the bird’s ambush.

    If it was someone else’s, maybe the crow was doing you a favour or trying to warn you off.

  4. sabretooth Says:

    I have no idea what any of it means, by I laughed out loud reading it. Twice =)

  5. Rodney Dowdall Says:

    Clearly this points to the existence of weapons of mass destruction in countries where we don’t want them to be. You did the right thing. The crow will return the message to it’s masters. They now know not to screw with us. Thank you for saving us A.J.

  6. anthonynorth Says:

    It seems to me that the leaf was meant for the poor man working below you in the sewer, and fed up of all the crap in his life.
    The crow wouldn’t normally have had to intervene, but as you were there, it had no choice; which was just as well as if you hadn’t removed the crow, a car was about to run it over.
    Or something like that :-)

  7. Jacquie Says:

    A crow stealing your leaf is funny (and pretty amazing). Too bad you can’t take a joke.

  8. sulya Says:

    Not for the first time since I read this I have found myself standing over my cup of tea, adding sugar, milk, thinking about it, laughing and shaking my head. Crows have been messing with me for years. They fly through my hair when I am heartbroken. They are little and unable to fly with all their elders cawing them on outside my window. I’m sure I’ve just been too close to a nest or something but whatever. The heartshaped leaf, the dropping of that heart into a sewer – the kicking of the crow. Brilliant. I thought that I would probably want to know if something I wrote was still making someone laugh more than 6 weeks later so that is my gift to you today… Hopefully no mischievous bird will chuck it down a sewer…

  9. Emile Says:

    “. Crows have been messing with me for years. They fly through my hair when I am heartbroken. They are little and unable to fly with all their elders cawing them on outside my window. I’m sure I’ve just been too close to a nest or something but whatever. The heartshaped leaf, the dropping of that heart into a sewer – the kicking of the crow. Brilliant.”

    I think I like this better than the actual post.


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