Monday, October 27, 2008

Smokey the Crow

Oh, the conveniences that we take for granted in our lifetime. Electricity for instance. This past weekend we had a severe wind storm with what were supposed to be snow FLURRIES. Well, let me tell you that at times there were white out conditions and you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Trees were blown over onto electrical wires and folks were without electricity for hours at a time. Fortunately, Ole has the foresight to be well prepared for living in a rural area in this part of the Upper Midwest. It was getting mighty cold here with temperatures below freezing and a strong wind blowing. Without electricity in your house, it gets pretty miserable.

The first thing you think of is, of course, no lights. But don’t forget – without electricity to run the pump in your well you have no water let alone HOT water, no heat, no TV or even radio unless you have a battery operated one. We happen to have an electric kitchen stove so I couldn’t even cook let alone run the microwave. But good old Ole is prepared with two big generators that he can hook up – big enough to run EVERYTHING!!

Now when I was a kid and we were living the life of the gypsies and moving from camp to camp, there was no electricity in these pastures that we camped in. The construction company did furnish a large generator that ran throughout the evening hours so you could have lights in your house after dark. But you better be in bed by midnight unless you wanted to sit in the dark. We had long, long extension cords that would run from our trailers to this big generator. If someone wanted to play a mean trick on you, they’d go unplug your cord from the generator and then you’d have to stumble around in the dark and try to plug it back in as there were no yard lights outside so you could see where you were going.

Big Brother had a pet crow one summer when we were “camping out.” We had been in one location where there were some large trees, one of which had a crow’s nest in it. For some reason, I don’t remember what it was, the mother crow had died and fallen out of the nest, leaving four baby crows hanging over the edges with their mouths gaping, crying for food. My brother and some of his buddies shinnied up the tree, took the crows out of the nest and each took one home. These crows were so small they didn’t even have feathers on yet – just bare skin. I remember them being extremely ugly. Well, Big Brother is a very determined person and was going to do everything possible to keep this baby crow alive. We had a dog at that time who ate canned dog food, so some of his dog food was confiscated to feed the baby crow, along with a variety of bugs, beetles and worms that Big Brother would go scrounging for during the day. And of course the crow, being so small, was hungry ALL the time, so Big Brother would be up several times during the night to feed this poor, squawking thing. Of the four crows that were taken from the nest, Big Brother’s was the only one that lived, and grew into a fine, feathered friend for quite a number of years.

Big Brother named him Smokey – and what a pest he was. My Mother would drape an old towel across the back of a chair and would allow the bird to come in the house for short periods of time if he would sit on the back of the chair. He would fly to the door and squawk when he wanted to go back out, so I don’t remember many “accidents” happening. But then I wasn’t the one that cleaned them up either. If he were left alone for any period of time things would disappear. Things like car keys, buttons, pens, coins, anything shiny that was left laying around would disappear instantly. Once a week my Mother would clean behind the davenport and there – lo and behold – would be all of Smokey’s treasures. He became a very “cocky” bird, which led to his demise. One day he was dive-bombing one of the local dogs and the dog snapped at him as he flew overhead – and that was the end of Smokey.

Here’s a shot of what “road camp” looked like – that’s our trailer second from the right. And it must have been a Saturday afternoon when we were headed for town to buy groceries. That’s me running toward the car with my Dad getting in on the other side. Note the long blonde Shirley Temple curls? Oh, how I hated those things. My mother would make these ringlets every morning, and when I was old enough to go to school I would go immediately to the bathroom and brush them all out. I wanted straight hair like the other girls.

To be continued,
Love Lena


Meggie Lou said...

Love the bra top (smile). What a cool story! You were very cute with your very blond Shirley Temple curls. Did you get tired of everyone telling you how "lucky" you were to have them? Me too.

Shear said...

I love this entry. I felt like I was right there with you.

Carolyn said...

Great entry. You are a wonderful storyteller!
We have tons of crows here, and I have to admit that I hate them. They're so loud! Sometimes when I'm out for a walk, it seems like a million of them decend on the trees and I am immediately reminded of the movie Birds.
P.S. Thanks for sharing the youtube video. I really enjoyed it.

Kat said...

Are my comments not sticking?

Did I miss the blizzard this past weekend?