Country diary- A peckish crow appears to observe the Green Cross Code
Something has died on the road. Cars bomb – too fast, too fast – down the hill, and sometimes even the canniest urban animal leaves its escape too late. It’s not clear exactly what it is, but there are grey feathers, so I’m going with pigeon. The feathers flutter uselessly in the wash of the passing cars, then settle. The road is briefly empty.
The crow has been waiting for a gap. There’s easy meat on offer, and it’s not going to be put off by tons of thundering metal. It only needs a few seconds. It walks into the road with a jaunty, rolling swagger. Cocky. A touch of the wide boy.
Clever birds, crows. Famous problem-solvers. Give them a full bin and they will extract maximum value from it. They might also drop molluscs from a height to smash them open. You wouldn’t bet against them perpetrating a basic phishing scam.
Background birds in this part of south London, they vie with gulls for the title of urban scavenger of the year. They hang around the cemetery in small groups, as black and glossy as a Spinal Tap album, almost as if they know the folklore. Omens of ill, harbingers of death, bad news all round. Goth birds.
Often, when I look out of the window, there will be one, rowing gamely across the sky. Strong flyers, they nonetheless give the impression of constantly flying into a troublesome headwind.
On a grey, blustery day like today, they show their prowess, allowing the wind to carry them backwards, wings folding in on themselves, as a handkerchief. The wind drops, and they draw themselves through the air, overcoming the turbulence with deceptively lazy wingbeats.
Another lull. Out it swaggers, pecks at the pigeon with its stout, curved bill. One eye on the approaching traffic, it tears meat from the cadaver. Observing the Green Cross Code, it looks both ways between pecks.
A car comes down the hill – too fast, too fast – and it’s time to go. One more peck, and in the nick of time it launches itself up at an angle, wings beating deep to draw it into the air and off and away.
(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Times Of Nation staff and is published from a www.theguardian.com feed.)
Read Also- Latest News | Current Affairs News | Today News | English News | World News Today
TimesofNation.com offer news and information like- English newspaper today | today English news | English news live | times of India | today news in English in India | breaking news in India today | India TV news today & Hindustan times.
You can Read on TimesofNation.com latest news today, breaking news headlines, Top news. Discover national and international news on economy, politics, defence, sports, world news & other relatively current affair’s news.