Witness to wonder

Witness to wonder I had a great experience recently. I saw a crow flying high behind my house with what appeared to be a white plastic cylinder. It fell from its beak and I heard a clatter on the pavement. Surprisingly, over the next five to 10 minutes,

I had a great experience recently. I saw a crow flying high behind my house with what appeared to be a white plastic cylinder.

It fell from its beak and I heard a clatter on the pavement. Surprisingly, over the next five to 10 minutes, this was repeated as I drank my coffee in the garden. I thought that perhaps the bird was building a nest and maybe the object was too large to hold onto. Surprisingly, it kept trying. Having looked over the back garden fence I saw, eventually, that it was a solid bone that was being dropped and concluded that the bird was interested in the marrow. Wow!

I grabbed my hammer, went out to the front street and there was, what I thought, a second crow dropping a bone from a height. Maybe it was the same crow and the same bone. I approached to help break the bone, but the crow, seeing me, flew away with its trophy. I retired out of sight, and when the bird again dropped the bone, I moved quickly to retrieve it and proceeded to break it with the hammer.

The bone was a little soft, pliable and wet (not brittle) and was hard to break. With a good strike I eventually broke it and made a few more strikes and it was now well-and-truly open. I retired towards the house and, looking back, saw the crow stick its beak into the marrow and consume the contents. So I realized that the dropping of the bone was intentional. Smart crow!

Apparently, monkeys drop coconuts to access food and drink. I had never in all my life seen such a display before. I truly felt part of a big story and greatly honoured to witness a wonder.

Other persons were obviously also part of the story. The end opposite the bone joint had a straight saw-cut. The bone was meatless, white and clean on the outside. It must have come from someone’s kitchen, before that from the butchers, before that from the meat mart and before that from the farm – all with human involvement.

Of course, we could go back to the story of the development of agriculture and animal husbandry, to Job’s advice on consulting animals, birds, fish and plants and even to our naming of the animals in Genesis. What a wonderful world we live in!

Ask the animals and they will teach you, the birds of the air and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Which of these does not know that the hand of God has done this? In God’s hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being. Job 12:7-10

Fred O’Brien

Kilkee, County Clare, Ireland

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