As The Crow Flies
|It was typical long bright, sunny spring day on Johnny's family's farm in the Matanuska valley of Alaska.
Johnny's sister Patsy had just stirred up a batch of bread
and milk for five very hungry puppies--------and one equally hungry crow.
The crow, who the family had named Timmy, had accompanied the family from Wisconsin two years earlier.
Timmy was a gregarious, picky, nosy and pesky bird, but Johnny loved him. Maybe that's why he was willing to put up with him, because Timmy was a crow who was constantly in trouble.
|On the top of Timmy the crow's head was a bare spot about the size of a quarter, a permanent memorial to some unknown struggle which left him partially bald, although nobody ever figured out how he managed to get himself scalped.
Like most crows, Timmy was attracted by two things; food and anything shiny. But mostly food.
Patsy placed the big dish of bread and milk down amidst the swirling mass of hungry puppies who were now tumbling over each other at her feet, in anticipation of dinner.
Timmy promptly swooped in and landed on the ground about four feet away from her.
Oh boy! Food! Timmy definitely wanted to be in on this feast.
|Timmy tried to get at the food bowl by darting in and out between fat little puppies. Frantically he attempted to get a share of the food. He'd find an opening between two pups and dash in, but moments later he'd be shoved aside.
A litter of hungry puppies can be just like litter of little pigs. There was just too much pushing and shoving going on for a crow to capture even a morsel of food.
A fella could starve with all these little guys around! he thought.
Timmy dropped back and considered the situation for a moment. If he was going to get his share of dinner, he was going to have to come up with a way divert the puppies' attention from their dinner.
Timmy raced around the circle of puppy rumps which surrounded the food bowl, and one by one he firmly grabbed each pup's tail in his beak, gave it a strong yank, and lifted the puppy's hind end off the ground.
What fun! the puppies thought. Instantly it was playtime for the pups. They forgot all about eating.
Johnny's house was situated on the side of a hill and the food bowl was located in the upper yard of the house.
After yanking each puppies tail, which was a "Catch me if you can!" invitation if they ever saw one, Timmy took to the air. He swooped down and flew right in front of their little noses, flying only about a foot above the ground, and going just fast enough to stay airborne.
Timmy flew toward the nearest corner of the house and casually sailed around the corner, with the entire litter of puppies in tumbling, yapping pursuit.
Johnny and his sister watched the procession as the crow and the puppies disappeared from our sight.
What the heck was that all about? Johnny wondered. Where did everybody go?
They didn't have long to wait.
Johnny and his sister looked up. Here came Timmy.
Having started the puppies on a wild goose chase, the crow sailed up over the roof of the house and drew a bead on their dinner.
|As he was nearing the ground, he pulled out of his power dive, flared his wings and gracefully landed on the edge of the food dish.
The crow looked over at Johnny and Patsy, cocked his head,
and winked. Then he settled down to a peaceful, puppy-free meal.
|It was a good ten minutes before the first
confused puppy waddled back around the corner of the house.
By that time, Timmy had eaten his fill of their dinner and was now happily perched on Johnny's shoulder.
Johnny watched the stragglers wander back to their half
empty food dish.
Do you remember the second thing that crows like best?
Timmy the crow leaned forward and peered closely at Johnny's teeth as he laughed.
Oh boy!... thought Timmy....Shiny stuff!
About the Author: John C. Newby 68 when this story was written, is retired now, a widower who was married to his beautiful wife for some 42 years. John is by profession a mechanical engineer whose talents lent themselves to numerous projects, including trucks, spacecraft, the FMC Bradley, and the IBM bank teller. Today, when asked to describe himself, he will tell you that he is "basically a unicyle-riding inventor". That's because at the age of 52 he spied a unicycle at a flea market, bought it, and taught himself to ride, (yep, he's still at it). With patents for two inventions processed and another two pending, our unicycle-riding inventor is still hard at it. You are invited to contact John Newby at email@example.com
About the Illustrator: In addition to being a talented artist, Jeff Meyers, is also a very talented writer. Jeff makes his home in South Carolina. He enjoys writing fiction for all ages and has been drawing and painting all his life. His artwork includes cartoons, illustrations, computer graphics, and still life drawings. When he's not working at his computer, Jeff spends time with his wife and two children, making as many trips to the beach as they can. Jeff has additional examples of his artwork on display at Bedtime-Story. See more of Jeff's art in The Goggle Eyed Green Hairy Monster And Me and The Goggle Eyed Green Hairy Monster Returns, and Gilbert Henry Tries Again which he wrote as well as illustrated. Contact Jeff at TLBosenian@aol.com or visit his website: The JEFFWORKS
The Matanuska Valley in Alaska is a real place.
Alaska was admitted to the Union as America's 49th State on January 3, 1959 and it is the largest state in the Union. It is 1/5th the size of the entire United States! It comprises 586,412 square miles or approximately 365,000,000 acres. There are 47,300 miles of coast line, 3 million lakes and more than 3,000 rivers! The distance from Alaska's East to West borders is over 2,400 miles, and from North to South it is over 1,420 miles! Alaska is BIG! If you'd like to learn more about Alaska, click on the Matanuska Valley farm photo at right.