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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Valentine Couple - A Crow Story
written 2/07/13

Brooklyn Museum: Crow on a Branch

Kawanabe Kyosai (Japanese, 1831-1889). Crow on a Branch, ca. 1875. Woodblock color print, 9 7/8 x 14 5/8 in. (25.1 x 37.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, 41.977

Cory Crow was wondering about Valentine's Day. He had heard people talking about it. He saw red and pink decorations in the shop windows - hearts, roses, flowers, ribbons,, lace, candies & chocolates, cookies and cakes, cupids, balloons, and frilly outfits. Also funny stuffed animals dressed in pink and red clothes. Some windows showed lots of pictures and cards with these same things on them. They also had writing on them. Be My Valentine! Happy Valentine's Day! I'm Yours Forever! Love to the best Grandma! Guess Who?

Restaurants had signs in the windows about their special Valentine's Day meals. The inns and bed and breakfasts were  advertising Valentine mini vacation stays meant to be for sweethearts. Some sweethearts would use Valentine's Day to ask each other when they would get married. Some sweethearts would celebrate that they were sweethearts. Some sweethearts would get married on Valentine's Day. And some sweethearts would celebrate how long they had been sweethearts for. It was a time for love and sweethearts.

Cory had wondered when he would find a sweetheart. He was very friendly with Camilla Crow. He liked how her black feathers glistened with tiny tiny blue and purple and violet sparkles  in the sunlight. Her eyes sparkled too whenever he came near her. She dipped her head from side to side when  he came close. She clucked  a kuhkuhkuhkuh like a little drumroll to him. He liked her so much that he had started bringing her peanuts and other tidbits of food to share with her. And she graciously accepted his food offerings. They would eat together and enjoy each other's company.

Brooklyn Museum: Two Crows

Kawanabe Kyosai (Japanese, 1831-1889). Two Crows, ca. 1870. Woodblock color print, 27 1/2 x 10 in. (69.9 x 25.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, By exchange, 37.435

Cory started to dance whenever he saw Camilla. He hopped around on a branch or on the ground, dipping and swaying as he hopped. He stretched out his wings a bit as he pranced around. Camilla was very taken with his antics. One day, just before Valentine's Day, Cory and Camilla rubbed their beaks together from side to side in a crow kiss. Cory asked Camilla if she would be his sweetheart, his Valentine. She said yes.
Cory watched people come out of some of the shops carrying some of these Valentine items. He was intrigued with the candies and balloons. The balloons were shiny and silvery, made of a foil material called mylar. They had designs, pictures, and words printed on them. Cory remembered a time when these balloons used to float up into the sky and disappear if they were not tied down. That was when they were filled with  helium gas. Now balloons were filled with air. They were not light enough to float away. If they were tied to a tall stick they would appear to float up in the air.

Cory was interested in the scraps he saw people throw away as they went to eat Valentine candy before the special day. They unwrapped shiny wrappers from their candies and sometimes let them fall to the ground instead of putting them in the trash. Some of these shiny wrappers were shiny foil on the inside. Cory, like most crows, loved mirrors and sparkly things like  foil and gold and silver. He collected some of the bits of foil wrappers and brought them home to his stash of things he collected. He wanted to find some shiny ribbons like he was seeing in the windows. It was his mission  the next few days to find some pretty ribbons to bring home to Camilla.

That afternoon snow began to fall. Cory and Camilla met up with the other crows in their favorite fir tree where they all roosted. Cory and Camilla and all the crows kept each other warm all night and thru the next day as the thick snow fell and the wind blew. The crows were safe and warm  through the storm together in their rookery. It would be Valentine's Day and Cory would give Camilla the shiny red ribbons he had found in a parking lot. Someone had opened an early Valentine gift. The ribbon had gotten stuck in the car door and later fell out of the car when the door was opened again. Cory gave it to  Camilla for them to start the nest they would soon be building together.

crow valentine papercut by Catinka Knoth

Valentine Papercut with crows and swans, by Catinka Knoth

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