In this blog series, we showcase interesting and creative assignments received as part of The Wonder of Birds free online course.  We invite you to explore birds through the eyes of our learners!

Birds have always held a special place in our cultural narratives and everyday life. Among them, crows have been particularly prominent due to their intelligence, adaptability and cultural relevance. Read on and enjoy some crow-related stories!

The Jealous Crow: A Bengali Tale

Piyali Majumder shares a Bengali story about a jealous crow who longed to be as beautiful as a peacock. In his quest for beauty, the jealous crow adorned his tail with peacock feathers. However, this act of vanity led to his rejection by both the peacocks and fellow crows, leaving the crow isolated. The story serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of self-acceptance.

Read the story in Bengali.

Crows in Kerala: Poetry, Myths, and Stories

Kerala has a plethora of stories and myths about crows. These birds are often seen as messengers and symbols in various narratives. Read some of them, as shared by Jyothisha (text edited for clarity):

“In this land called ‘God’s Own Country’, people have a great deal of stories, myths and poetry on birds; especially on crows. This bird, whose presence you can find almost everywhere, is a common sight in villages, in the backyards to be exact. People now notice its lower sighting and point to global warming as the cause.

Anyway, your good old ancestors are believed to take the form of a crow and visit you. That is why, on the day of ‘Bali’, after you perform the ritual for your forgone ancestors, you clap your wet hands and call for the crow. You feed them. They say that if the crow comes, sits near your house and caws in the morning, then it is believed that you will get some guests that day.

They also appear in nursery rhymes and the crow is probably the first bird you learn and see as a child. These scavenger birds clean our surroundings and it is no surprise that the religious beliefs try to feed, protect and worship them.”

Mother Crow and Child

Gowri P shared a famous children’s rhyme featuring crows. It is about a conversation between a mother crow and a small human child. The child is curious about the baby crow but also has jaggery pancakes in his hand. The clever mother crow notices the jaggery pancakes (neyyappam in Malayalam) and snatches it from him. The boy is surprised by the trickery. The original poem in Malayalam rhymes well!

Read the poem in Malayalam and English.

The Thirsty Crow: A Classic Fable

The timeless story of the thirsty crow trying to drink water from a pitcher was beautifully illustrated and interpreted by Syeda Iram.

“I’d like to share a well-known fable from my kindergarten. It’s about a parched crow who is searching for water. Luckily, he finds a pot of water but the water level was too low for his beak to reach. The crow then came up with the brilliant idea of dropping the pebbles into the pot one after the other until the water level arose high enough for him to drink! The witty crow flew away happily.”

Here’s an illustration of the thirsty crow and the moral of the story by Syeda.

We hope these stories inspire you to look at crows in a new light and appreciate their place in our world. If you have any crow-related stories or artwork, feel free to share them with us. Let’s continue to celebrate the wonder of birds together!

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