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My Smartest Best Friend was my Pet Crow!
Picture of a crow
The Day We Met
I believe I was about nine years old and as usual I was outside playing and bugging people like most curious nine year olds back then, when I noticed he was following me. At first he was very sneaky about it, he would fly from tree to tree and wait for me to move first. Then he got a little braver and would land about 3 feet from me and he wasn't scared like most other birds when I moved they would fly away, but not him, he just stayed there looking at me.
I thought that maybe I could perhaps get him in the house, well, the basement actually, my Mother probably would not have approved of him in the house since she was terrified of birds and he was a big bird. So I thought I would get him some food, I couldn't go back in the house because when I was little and you were told to go out and play, you didn't dare go back into the house for a few hours at least. I decided I would go to the basement and get some dry dog food and make a trail for him to follow me. I emerged from the basement with his "treats" and there he was already! He had followed me with out me forcing him too! I felt like he was trying to tell me something. I would talk to him and he would turn his little head sideways like he understood me.
I gave him a piece of the dry dog food and he pecked at it and pushed it around with his beak, then I noticed he was hopping when he walked , he had a crippled foot. Not newly crippled , but it had healed crippled or maybe he was born that way. He hopped over to a water puddle and put his dog food in it. This bird was so smart I thought to myself. I was so afraid to go in the house at dinner time, because I knew my newly found friend would fly away.
Taking it to the next level
When I awoke the next morning and ran outside with some bread in my pocket, I couldn't find him at first, then I heard him I looked up and there he was still here, almost as if he were waiting on me! I held the bread in my fingers and he flew down and gently took it from my hands showing no fear whatsoever! This went on for about a week or so.
It was time for school to start back again and I didn't want to leave my new best friend. For the last week or so that is what he had become my best friend, every where I went , he followed! By now his diet consisted of dog food, bread, fruit loop cereal and anything else I could manage to sneak out of the house. I had told my Mom, but she didn't believe me, I think she thought it was a made up friend by a lonely child. I was thrilled I told my cousins and my best friend Julie that I went to school with and her Mom was our school's secretary.
So , the first day of school came and it was time for me to go, I had missed the school bus so I had to walk, it wasn't very far, but now days you wouldn't let your child walk that far alone. I set off down the road and I noticed my new feathered friend following me, so I told him to go home and I didn't notice him anymore after that.
I had made it through the first day of school just thinking about my friend and I had hoped he would be at home waiting on me. I rushed home and changed clothes and ran outside. I couldn't find him anywhere. I started to cry, I knew it, he thought I had abandoned him so he left or he got lost trying to go to school with me. I ran into the house crying to my Mom and went to my room steadily looking out the window for my friend.
A few hours later, the phone rang and then I heard my Mom calling me. The look on her face was like complete amazement. She told me to get my shoes on that we had to go. "Where?" I asked, as I didn't want to leave for fear my friend would return and I would not be there. "You'll see" she said. So I climbed in the car and we pulled in the driveway of my best friend Julie's house. "Mom , why are we here?" and she said, "Well, it seems as though your bird followed you to school" . 'So what are we doing here?" "Well", she starts explaining, " He followed you all the way to the doors of school and when Mr. Joe the janitor went to close the doors he hopped on in the school." So Mr.Joe had a bird cage and got him in there and Julie's Mom was going to take him home to set him free in the woods behind their house, but when Julie got home she told her Mom that was your bird, so here we are" . I was so thrilled! From that day on we were inseparable, when it got to cold outside my Mom had a friend that built things so he built him a cage and you would think being a wild bird he wouldn't like going in the cage, but he would get in on his own and come out when we asked him to. He would go outside and fly around and then willingly hop up the stairs to the house and get back in his cage. He allowed me to pick him up and we would play, he would sit on my arm for hours and he loved all things shiny!
He remained my best friend until I was fourteen years old, we had to move to Georgia and we knew he couldn't make the trip that long. Each time he would get in a moving vehicle he would pant and pace . So we had to give him to a wild life refuge that took care of injured wild animals.
I never saw him again, but I thought of him frequently and I have never found a more trustworthy, loyal and intelligent best friend since then that could compare to my Rueben.