Blackthorn the Raven sat upon its dark wintry perch watching the snowflakes fall. They shimmered, twirled and slid off the leafless tree branches like ballerinas trying desperately to find a foothold. Tiny wildlife skittered amidst the dark and white of the colorless, yet oddly beautiful landscape, much like an artistic picturesque canvas painted in graphic, barren black and white. The day shone in eerie starkness to the gloomy sunless skies.
The raven sat watching the small likeness of a human approaching as if from a far distance, it loomed larger and larger upon the horizon as it drew closer. The leafless limbs of the trees played tricks on the eyes as the various frames interchanged like scenes from a moving picture show. Blackthorn had once watched an outside movie show. He had been fascinated.
The human peered through a strange thing with eyes, so now he seemed to possess four eyes. How very strange, thought Blackthorn, as the human walked with definite purpose towards his tree on which Blackthorn had clearly staked his claim.
Stopping below the tree, the human stood looking up at the raven, wondering why the solitary bird sat there looking so forlorn and sad. His thoughts must have resonated up into the sky, as the raven looked down, craning its neck into a question mark, as if hearing the unspoken thoughts.
Gerard thought he heard the echoes of the dark bird's thoughts as the tiny eyes squinted down at him. Through the binoculars the eyes seemed sad and weary, as if a million lifetimes had been lived, yet remained as a painful reminder of the joy, laughter and pain which time inevitably leaves painted upon the soul. He wondered too, why the raven did not just fly away as any regular bird would.
He lifted his hand slowly and waved at the raven, Blackthorn ruffled his feathers as if in mutual greeting. Both bird and human felt a curious bond with themselves and the wonderous display of white and dark shadows of nature's wintry painted splendor.
Ruminating in this thing called life, the raven pondered quietly about the life of the human standing below, peering up at him through four collective eyes. Why do you need four eyes human? Blackthorn thought in his bird-ly mind.
The human removed two of his eyes and smiled up at the bird, as if he had completely comprehended the queer question. Somehow the raven felt a strange kinship with the kind face of the human looking up at him.
Blackthorn felt the chill of winter bite into his aging bones and feathers as the world somehow ebbed and flowed with perpetual long days and seemingly shorter nights. For him, rest and sleep has long been something of the past, his bones ached in the winter months. The fluffy snowflakes danced merrily upon the breeze, happily attaching themselves to the fascinating human form below, as bird and man ruminated in the existence of each other.
What name does one attach to a group of humans, the raven wondered. Blackthorn contemplated why he always heard humans refer to his kind in such strange words and mutterings. It is bad enough they call us a flock, but collectively they name a group of us, a "rave".
Well, I never! I don't recall us partying and having any all-night benders of fantastic, drunken raves.
A "treachery" of ravens, treachery? When did we ever cause or mean the humans malice or any type of harm? Blackthorn cogitated with much disquietude and wonder.
Then there is:
A "conspiracy" of ravens. I really dislike this one immensely. Really! Deception, ploy, ruse, plotting and scheming. How dare they accuse us of such horrific, horrible doings.
Furthermore, when did we become "An Unkindness" of ravens. What have we ever done to humankind to be referred to as an unkindness.
Then there is that name they have for my cousins.
"A Murder of Crows". How very inelegant, graceless and unrefined, yet somehow darkly alluring.
There is no consistent distinction between ravens and crows, we were created for a really great purpose. Don't we do humans the very awful service of cleaning the earth for the benefit of their questionable existence. Most ravens eat the dead bodies of other animals. Granted, they will eat any small animals or small birds and any small reptiles that they can find. But ravens even eat maggots and animal poo too.
A "Wonderment of Humans". Blackthorn smiled wryly, as he coined the phrase for the human kinds.
For their kind left one in wonderment and awe of their audacity, in attaching labels to others without their expressed permission.
Gerard too, was wondering what birds thought of humans, he wondered if they thought us ungrateful for the services which they rendered to us, but which we never acknowledge or show our gratitude.
Uncannily, the thoughts of both raven and human had become somehow synchronized in a momentary tandem of time and space.
The weather was changing, Gerard felt it in the whisper of the wind upon his face. He again lifted his hand and waved goodbye to the raven, pulled his hood over his head and turned to slowly retrace his steps back to his home. He noticed the playful romps of the sun pretending to peek out from behind the clouds, then gleefully dash back to hide itself from view.
The raven opened its mouth and tasted the air, it was time to leave this place.
Feeling pleased with himself, Blackthorn lifted his aching, yet majestic wings and soared off into the gloomy but welcoming approaching day at the same moment that Gerard took his first step.
Both man and bird had arrived at the same conclusion for self preservation by the subtle but salient change in the atmosphere.
Blackthorn soared high and dipped low seeking nourishment.
Those dead carcasses were not going to eat themselves!!!!!
Gerard looked up, smiled and reached for a healthy snack. He needed energy for his long trek back. Both human and bird were still working in a preternaturally connected mindset.