Society Where None Intrudes

I haven’t been well lately.  And when I’m not well, I’m not myself.  I don’t really know what’s going on.  I mean, I know I have an autoimmune disease and am recovering from a concussion, but I don’t know exactly why they seem to be ganging up on me the past five days or so.

So before I returned to tutoring my high school student today, I made sure I had enough time for my “me time” ritual.  I swung by Starbucks, got a muffin and a chai latté, and then drove to my usual beach.

When it comes to beaches, I have an abundance of riches.  There are no fewer than four wonderful beaches within a ten-minute drive from my back door.  I am somewhat spoiled, living here.  I don’t think I could live anywhere but beside the sea.

My routine at this beach is pretty standard.  First, I play my location-based games (Pokémon Go, Wizards Unite, and Jurassic World Alive) because I am 50 going on 15.  Then I zone out and just listen to and watch the waves for a few minutes.  And after that, I will eat 95% of the muffin.

Except for today.  Today I forgot and ate the whole muffin — and then got yelled at for it.  By Charles.

About a year ago, I noticed a crow sitting on a sign, staring at me intently as I ate an apple.  (My snack was healthier that day.)  Because I was curious to see what the crow would do, I pulled off a couple of pieces of apple and put them on top of the nearby garbage can when I threw out the core.  Sure enough — after I got back in my car and shut the door, the crow swooped over and scarfed down the apple bits.

That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.  This crow (whom I’ve since called Charles, for no other reason than he feels like a Charles) has learned to recognize my car and will take his place on the sign to wait (sometimes more patiently than others) for his treats.

COVID has messed up the corvid, however, because for six months I wasn’t tutoring, and therefore not coming to the beach regularly.  And so when I pulled up to the beach today, Charles did not come.  And — without the visual cue of him sitting in front of me — I forgot to save him a piece of the muffin.

Then we both remembered.

Charles and a friend landed in the parking lot next to my car, and I hastily scraped together some crumbs from the inside of the muffin liner, feeling terribly guilty of course.

If you want to see what happened after that, I did make a little three-minute video to share.  You can find it here.

Even though I don’t tutor tomorrow, I think I will go to the beach to visit my feathered friend.

We have a lot of catching up to do.


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Karen J. McLean

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  • I love a good bird story! As coincidence would have it, my slice today was about feeding birds as well.

    Crows are just so darn smart—I love watching them and would love to work with one of them some day!

  • This was a sweet story, and I did end up watching the video. It’s so funny how writing can entice a person so easily to buy into a story they would otherwise not give a hoot (get it?) about. And yes – a friend of mine was telling me the other day how smart crows are. Looks like you’ve found a lifelong friend.