The crow was not among the creatures listed in Brit’s interim taxonomy of good and bad animals, but it it is safe to assume it is bad. Certainly the crow which wrote the text below, in Yorkshire in 1970, seems a pretty nasty piece of work. It may surprise some readers to learn that a crow is intelligent enough to keep a diary, but do not forget that they are among the cleverest of all birds. Clever, and deeply bad.

Woke up in a foul temper. I was really, really pissed off. Sat atop a tree and shouted my head off. I was still pissed off but I went down to the car park to meet my crow pals. We strutted about, intimidating smaller birds and indeed anybody else we came upon.

Later I went to sit atop a tree just outside Mytholmroyd in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Did a bit of cawing. Spotted a bloke with a notepad and pen, who seemed to be jotting down my caws. I wasn’t having that, so I swooped down and had a quick slash at his face with my talons.

“By ‘eck!” he cried, “’Appen you’ve drawn blood, crow! Just like the first time I kissed my poor wife Sylvia, dead by her own hand these seven years.”

Then he added “BULLORGA OMBOLOM FROR”, in Real Orghast. I didn’t realise darkness had opened its womb, but looking round I saw night was falling, so I headed for a different tree and shouted my head off for a while because I was still in a foul mood. Then I fell asleep.

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About Author Profile: Frank Key

Frank Key is a London-based writer, blogger and broadcaster best known for his Hooting Yard blog, short-story collections and his long-running radio series Hooting Yard on the Air, which has been broadcast weekly on Resonance FM since April 2004. By Aerostat to Hooting Yard - A Frank Key Reader, an ideal introduction to his fiction, is published for Kindle by Dabbler Editions. Mr Key's Shorter Potted Brief, Brief Lives was published in October 2015 by Constable and is available to buy online and in all good bookshops.

4 thoughts on “Crow

    January 25, 2013 at 13:12


    And thanks to adding to the Ethical Taxonomy.

    January 25, 2013 at 15:10

    Crow school
    is basic and
    short as a rule—
    just the rudiments
    of quid pro crow
    for most students.
    Then each lives out
    his unenlightened
    span, adding his
    bit of blight
    to the collected
    history of pushing out
    the sweeter species;
    briefly swaggering the
    swagger of his
    aggravating ancestors
    down my street.
    And every time
    I like him
    when we meet.

    Kay Ryan: Felix Crow.
    I like crows too, and am always very polite to them.

      January 25, 2013 at 20:36

      Not, I observe Nige, when standing on a strike ridden station, Bobs biggest fan.

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