Trust me! I can help you." The minute I spoke the words, I realized how utterly useless voicing them was, indeed how ridiculous my entire demeanor must be. There I was, crouching with hand extended, slowing walking forward, talking to a crow. And I didn't even like crows.

It was promising to be another crisp fall day in the Lower Mainland in British Columbia. The sun was peering over the partly cloudy horizon as I took my daily morning walk. I was deep in thought, sorting through—well, to be honest, I was fretting about—the many details our pending move to Texas had imposed on the largely stress-free existence that I had grown accustomed to. As I rounded the corner and headed down the lane that runs along the Little League baseball field, my ruminations were interrupted by the obnoxious cawing of two crows. I quickly noticed the source of their consternation. In the grassy meadow, a third crow was jumping and flapping about, vainly attempting to fly. Somehow the scavenger had gotten his left wing stuck in the handle of a pink plastic bag. The poor bird had no chance whatsoever of getting airborne.

I gave the crow a wide berth and went on my way. His fellow crows would have to remedy his plight. And if they were unsuccessful? Well, one less crow in the world would not be a great loss, especially given the havoc these mean creatures can inflict on other birds.

I was only a few paces down the lane when the full importance of the crow's plight registered in my mind: Unless I do something, this hapless bird is going to die. I turned in my tracks. At first I remained a good distance away from the crow. Crows are capable of launching a dive-bomber attack so threatening that it elicits terror in the heart of anyone who evokes their ...

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February 2004

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