Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #233

As The Crow Flies
by Jesse Groppi


Three hours' travel as the crow flies, thought Father Crow, chuckling at the joke, You would have called me silly for that. You would have said this whole thing is silly.

Normally, Father Crow didn't travel. Normally, Father Crow spent most of his time napping in a drafty nest in the great oak tree. But today, he tried not to hear his joints creaking as he struggled to reach the upper air currents heading north along the coastline.

The Sun caught sight of Father Crow and pitied him as he wobbled into the airstream. She was shocked at how his feathers had dulled since seeing him last. Righteously, she burned away the clouds in his path.

The old raven sighed, relaxing as the soothing rays soaked into his muscles. He was glad to still see the A595 guiding him from below. North along the road, over the firth, then straight on to the castle, he reassured the empty space at his wing, I remember.

Father Crow's determination was steadfast, but each mile burned away at what was left of him. When he finally broke from the current, a pain shot down his left wing. Not yet! he cried, and tucked in for an early dive. A black shape looked up from a forgotten picnic's wrappings.

Mother Crow!

As he came closer, so did the blackness at the edge of his vision.

The glossy Scottish rook watched as Father Crow lost consciousness and tumbled to the ground.

23 comments:

Bernita said...

Charming piece!

Laurel said...

Pretty and fable-like. I love the tone.

Aniket said...

Swell crows them, from the Crow family. ;)

I enjoyed reading it.

Angel Zapata said...

A agree with Laurel; it's a fine, dream-like fable.

Megs - Scattered Bits said...

This tugged at my heartstrings. First, I loved the character, his determination, his crowness (I like getting into nonhuman heads, within reason). And then the way the sun was characterized and the all-too-human misrecognition he had at the end of a crow that was not his wife... I don't know. This was just "it" for me. I love it. And the ending made me feel. Excellent characterization and completion.

Louise said...

Poor Father Crow. I really felt for him.At least he had the Sun on his side.You painted a very clear picture of him for me.At least he thought he had Mother Crow at the end and didn't die alone.)-:

laughingwolf said...

very well done, jesse :)

Leatherdykeuk said...

A sad tae but a noble death.

Aerin said...



Caveat

Something I Would Keep

The Sun's "righteousness" - what fantastic characterization in such a short space!

Something I Might Tweak

Father Crow's motivation. I got the sense that north and straight to the castle was a place he'd been with his wife - otherwise, why would he travel when he "didn't travel"?

(I recognize, tho, that maybe I'm just an idiotic American who doesn't recognize the significance of the A595 or a Scottish rook, beyond geographical placement. Sorry if I've bumbled.)

Preeti said...

Oh. That was very well written.
I liked the way it flowed. I also liked what I was visualizing as I read it.

Jesse Groppi said...

Thank you all for the wonderful praise. You've got my cheeks warm!

Aerin - You've got Father Crow's motivation right, and that the A595 and Scottish rook are Geographic markers. What is it about his motivation you think you would change?

James R. Tomlinson said...

Interesting POV. I'm not sure I understand this line: "Righteously, she burned away the clouds in his path."
What is Father Crow following? Nicely written though.

Aerin said...

HA! Jesse, nevermind! I was afraid I misunderstood; if I did, then I needed more cues about his motivation. Yay me, I'm bilingual! I can read American and British!!!

Jesse Groppi said...

Aerin - :D I can't officially vouch for it's British-ness. I can only say that an attempt was made. I'm just an Anglophile!

So what do you Brits think? Did you ever question that it wasn't written by one?

Karen said...

Nice fable-like quality and deceptive simplicity (which is, I guess, a quality of fables).

Deb Smythe said...

There is a fable-like quality here, but it's also written with emotion. You tugged at my heart-strings.

Jean Ann Williams said...

Nice fable and I felt sympathy for Father Crow, but I did not pity him. He had a sense of humor that I admire.

Glad he could be with his wife at the end.

JaneyV said...

I thought that this was very sweet. I'm glad he made it from his nest in the oak back to find Mother Crow before he died.

The only thing that gave you away as not being British is that you said
The Sun … burned away the clouds in his path.

In Scotland??? That's never happened...;0)

A lovely light touch to this. I enjoyed it immensely.


(Word verification: cullam - in gaelic 'Colm' - pronounced cullam - means "dove")

Jesse Groppi said...

Yes, for us Americans or otherwise out there, the act of the sun burning away clouds is a rather exceptional happening! :P

Craig said...

Nice job. You really established the character of father crow in the few words alloted.

Harper said...

A swan song (or dive) for an aging crow—an apt ending—and to catch sight of Mother Crow before loss of consciousness was a kindness.

pjd said...

I get the feeling there's more here than I'm seeing. What I don't understand is why Mother Crow and Father Crow don't live together. If they're tightly connected, as I sense they are, why is she in the castle and he in the nest, so far away?

I do enjoy the familiarity of the voice and the way the sun helps Father Crow along. Charming, that.

catvibe said...

Janey made me laugh. :-) So true! Although I only know because I have an aunt who lives there. I was also a little lost here in the way that Pete was. Great imagery tho, and had to look up the A595, but once I had that figured, it made the imagery all that much better.