In the olden days the crow was considered an omen of death, hence the ancient description of the bevy of crows that we enjoy on Lotus Island, swooping, frolicking, linguistically diverse, usefully omnivorous, collegial and remarkably intelligent; hardly ominous for a group designated as a murder. My friend Bob had a nice sweet cherry, Stella, that produced delicious black cherries on occasion when the crows forgot to come or were otherwise engaged at our place. One spring when the trees were in early bloom and expectation was high, Bob took action unlike him, and shot a couple of crows, murdered really, and put them intact in his freezer along with Helen's frozen chicken. When the cherries started to turn in June Bob hung the frozen crows on his young tree branches as a warning, thinking that the omen for the crows would serve as a warning. It certainly did and the ruckus was immense. But the cherries were left alone to mature into black, soft ,sweet , plump and delicious. The night before designated picking time some visitors came and in the morning they found a family of raccoons who had dined on the soft and rotting crows and stripped off most of the cherries for dessert and damaged the rest. It had seemed to me that it was rough but smart action on Bob's part but I learned. We had two Stella trees as well and I then accepted humbly my place in the order of natural precedence and acknowledged that fact, as the omen of life.
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