The Gift

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I got off the school bus and ran home. My mom was in the kitchen just as I expected. I knew if I hung around talking she would start berating me with questions about school. And I didn’t feel like expostulating the intricacies of my life in 7th grade now. I ran up, got changed, and came down for my 3 O’clock snack. She had laid it out on our table near the window. As usual, my crow friend whom I have named Crown was there, waiting patiently. Crown knew the drill. I will take a bite and then give her (I assume it is a “She”) the other piece of whatever I eat. I normally gave her food until she didn’t want to take any. Today my first morsel was a bite of a graham cracker so she got the other piece. But Crown did not take it. She cawed. After some incessant cawing, I was concerned. My snack after all did not turn out to be that pleasant an experience with all that cawing. I love Crown but I had to shoo her off. But she just flapped her wings and came right back. Eventually, she flew to the window sill and from the outer corner pulled out something and pushed it right into the inner board of the window. I looked at it and was surprised to see a dead mouse. Crown cawed twice, waiting at the window sill. I looked at Crown as she tilted her head sideways looking intently at me. She was gifting me the mouse for all the days of food I gave her. I smiled and picked up the mouse with a paper towel. Crown cawed twice and flew away happy.

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