The crow, keeper of the gate

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story is number one of my book Tales Unleashed...published in 2019...28 tidy
little 'tales of the unusual' as I call them. I think you'll like this's one to make
you think about your next encounter with a crow.

Submitted: April 25, 2020

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 25, 2020





‘The Crow, keeper of the gate’



Each morning as the new day would break, the single crow, high in his nest


would be the first to emerge from his overnight lodging of sticks and leaves


to survey the land below him. Sitting on the nest’s edge and preening his


feathers as he stretched, he would jerk his neck side to side, listening and


looking for anything new that might appear below. It was not quite daylight,


but the long shadows below him were already losing their hold on the


tombstones that lay beneath.  Nothing had changed overnight. The solitude


 of the morning was punctuated only by the crow’s call and a similar one coming


from way off yonder.  He was the king of his castle. His nest towered over


the fifty or so headstones that had been here for well over eighty years or more.


What a serene and pleasant place to nest, in the forest, high above


the mossy grasses and wild flowers that spawned their yearly gifts of fragrance


and color.  Today would be another day for the crow…he would fly and call


and search the vicinity, always with one eye, keeping track of what transpired


in or near his home base.  But few people came here.  The last two men in a


van with shovels spent almost a day here, opening a hole in the ground below


his nest and tucking a long wood box into the ground, then covering it before


speeding away right as night fall started to makes its entrance.


These grounds were quiet indeed, except for the occasional chipmunk or squirrel


moving thru the maze of stones, little happened here.  One particular day the


crow watched as a young buck came into his ground, laid down, and gently went


to sleep. Flying down to examine the deer, the crow saw the wooden shaft


protruding through its side, a fatal insertion he concluded as the young deer was


destined to move no more.  Oh my, it was hunting season again.


But today seemed different, the crow felt uneasy as he overlooked his domain.


Was something about to change today?  As he strained his neck to the east


he saw a vehicle approach the cemetery gate, enter, and make its way to the


bottom of his tree.  The truck disembarked two men, each smoking those


profane smelling things that the crow hated so much.


The crow watched intently as the two men opened the back of the vehicle


and started to remove some kind machine he had not seen before.


 Removing his hat and wiping his brow one of the men uttered,


 “This tree should have been taken down years ago Henry.


It has fouled about twenty yards of the cemetery with droppings, broken limbs


and sticky sap….it’ll be good to get it down.”


With that the furious noise of the chainsaw began.  The crow, still sitting on


his nest edge felt the buzz and vibration as the teeth of the saw found its mark.


Within a minute or so…the nest started to move, the crow taking to flight before


he could be pulled downward by the whirl of the falling tree.


As the crow circled over head, the two men congratulated themselves as they


surveyed the project just completed. His home was now gone, a change in


the tapestry of the forest that he could hardly comprehend. The crow settled


onto the top of one of the largest monuments watching as the men put their


equipment away and drove off. 


The crow wasn’t beaten though.  He took to flight and found another tree,


not as big as his original home, but ample nesting for his future days and nights.


Sitting on his new perch the crow nodded to himself, in a positive attitude, not


one of defeat. As he watched the vehicle go down the hill, the crow said to


himself, “You win today, but I will be in my new tree when someone someday


brings you back, and places you in that long box in the ground. I will always


be here, it is what I live for. Until then you two, enjoy what time you have


left before you return to my eternal place.”


The crow launched himself into the air, to celebrate his air, his home, his total domain.


 The crow above this orchard of marble and granite will be there, now, tomorrow, and


always….waiting for the next arrival at the gate, because he is the keeper.

© Copyright 2020 Stanley Swan. All rights reserved.

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