strange companions

I have my sorrows,
but they and I
are turned companionable
as crows who follow
close behind
on quiet days
and I have learned
that a certain
tilt of the head
reveals the purple
upon the black
now it seems
if they were to go
I would sorely
feel their lack

© Sarah Whiteley

I have written on Tied to Sky something about the crows who have “adopted” me and follow me about while I’m walking the dogs. It all began last year when they were juveniles and starved for any bit of food they could find. I apparently became a prized resource for doggy treats, which they love. I find it especially entertaining as Freyja’s (one of my dogs) namesake in Norse mythology is the daughter of Odin, who has two ravens who fly the world over and carry back information to their master. And so I began to joke that Freyja’s father was simply checking up on his daughter.

I’ve taken to calling them Sorrow and Mirth which comes from a proverb about crows, and as there are two of them, it just seems to fit. Sorrow is the bolder of the two, and as a result the more demanding. He will swoop in low, sometimes brushing my head with a wing, and land no more than three feet away, giving three short caws indicating he knows I have something he wants. Mirth hovers around the perimeter, but will still come to within five or six feet. The dogs recognize them and now automatically sit when the crows come cawing. They are no longer juveniles, but have grown into beautiful adults – and while I never envisioned they would become such quirky little companions on so many of my walks (sometimes hopping along behind us for quite a few blocks), I enjoy their company very much.


  1. How beautiful can it get, Sarah?
    When Ravens know… I find this so interesting and what a cool walk this is for you and your companions(friends)…..also a joy to read, both poem and story.. I found it moving, not to make a pun 🙂
    All The Best,
    Peace, x



  2. wonderful sarah..

    it is a strange and great time when we understand that our sorrows are part of who we are. a day of celebration i would say (gloomy as the celebration might be in the light – or shadow – of the sorrows) – there is something sweet in them then, isn’t it?



  3. Sad to say I’m not a great crow fan, but would be if we didn’t look after lots of smaller birds (they eat their babies). I’m part of the way through reading a book you’d like: ‘Corvus: A life with Birds’ by Esther Woolfson. It’s part natural history and part anecdotal about a crow (and other birds) that lived with her. The crow (called ‘Chicken’) is quite a character. 🙂

    I love your poem. Some emotions are certainly like birds, flying along after us.



    1. Chicken is a rook…. sorry, but I just find that exceedingly amusing! Chickens are such graceless, clucky things. Seems to me any rook would be offended to be named “Chicken.” 🙂



  4. You now have two friends for life in those two crows. They will protect and watch over you. They will show you thier children when they have them. Don’t you know you have been accepted into the Crow Clan.

    Congrats and welcome to the family



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s