Friday, August 21, 2009

Raven, Raven

I hear your call as night descends:
"Come play with me, come chase the wind."
I answer back: fly, fly away
Don't wait for me to join you.

Raven, Raven I hear your cry:
"I cannot leave without you."
Listen now my faithful friend:
You must go on without me.

Circling Raven fly away,
Pretend that I'm beside you.
Wise one, you must comprehend
I nevermore will soar again.


Early in the morning the sound of Ravens filled the air. I rushed outside to see a large group gathered on the roof of my neighbor’s house some 1000 feet away. It was obvious they were all speaking to one Raven who was situated in the center of the group with 4 Ravens on one side and 6 on the other. The one in the middle had a stretched out neck and appeared to be annoyed at their insistent urgings.

The ruckus continued for 4 days. The neighbors were out of town so I had no idea what was happening and thought if I went to investigate I would disturb whatever was underway. It looked from a distance they were urging her to fly away. Their cries seemed to say – move along, move along. But it wasn’t until the neighbors returned that I learned she had a badly injured wing.

She could still maneuver from roof to second story veranda where we observed her mate deliver lizards which she quickly devoured. Neighbor Ann put out a bowl of water and other food delights which she ate from time to time as we marveled at how well she got around with one wing hanging down, immobile.

On the 6th day the flock disappeared and only one Raven remained at her side. In the early morning she could be seen at the highest point on the roof with her mate perched on one of the outer vegas. We could see she wasn’t improving and decided to take her to a Wildlife Center to see if they could save her. This was a hard decision because we didn’t want to scare her to death or injure her further.

The morning of her capture I was concerned we might drive her down into the arroyo where coyotes were known to hang out. Armed with large towels, I was in front and Ann went around back. As soon as Ann disappeared around the house the Raven started hopping away from me. Then she stopped just as Ann became visible on the far side of her, singing “you are my sunshine” and dropped the towel over her body. Bless her glorious heart – she made no attempt to get away and kind of sighed and relaxed in Ann’s arms. She felt totally weightless as we placed her in a super large box for her hour long trip to the Vet.

We hoped the wing could be repaired and she would be released back in the area of her extended family but such was not to be the case. The following day we learned she had a compound fracture at the elbow and would never fly again. Even if she had been treated immediately, nothing could have been done for her. And, she was in a lot of pain.

For several days after her departure a solo Raven could be seen sitting on the roof or circling overhead. They say a Raven has only one mate in a life time and mourns the passing of a mate for many months. This Raven must have wondered what happened to her – she just disappeared into thin air, to be seen “nevermore