Vol. 11


Uncle John’s Pet Crow

1963–1964; Northfield, New Jersey, USA"Uncle John's Pet Crow" illustration: A hand on a dropper drips milk into a baby bird's open beak.

In April of 1963, when my great-uncle John was a little boy, he climbed a tree and took a baby crow out of its nest. He raised the crow and named him Midnight. When the crow was younger, Uncle John fed him milk out of an eyedropper. As Midnight got older, John fed him cat food. Midnight grew to be a very large bird. John loved Midnight, and Midnight loved John’s family.

John clipped his primary feathers with scissors so Midnight could not fly. As Midnight got older, John decided to let him grow his feathers back until they were long enough for him to fly. But Midnight had never flown before, so he didn’t know how. Every day John took Midnight outside and threw him into the sky. One day John noticed him falling a little differently. After a few more tries, Midnight could fly!

At first Midnight had no idea how to turn. He flew straight into a nearby wood, hit a tree, and fell down. John ran into the woods after his pet. There he found a very angry Midnight walking around in the woods. Soon Midnight learned how to turn. Every day he would fly behind John and follow him to school. Midnight would hide in the trees until recess came. Then he would fly down and chase the children.

Midnight was a very clever bird. Sometimes he would fly way up into the sky and fly with other crows, but when John called his name, he would come down. Everyone in the neighborhood knew of Midnight. When someone addressed a letter to my great-grandfather and put “House with the Crow” because they didn’t know his address, the mailman knew exactly where to deliver the message.

Midnight was also a mischievous bird and sometimes got into trouble. One time a man came to John’s house and told him Midnight was two streets down throwing garbage everywhere. Midnight also liked to stand in the middle of the street and scream at cars as they passed by on either side of him.

All the fun with Midnight ended when he pecked the chief of police’s daughter and was taken away. When John received the official certificate of death, he was filled with sadness. He hid behind boxes in the garage and cried all day, because he didn’t want his brothers to find him and make fun of him. He was fourteen years old, and his best friend in the whole world was gone.

When I heard this story, I felt sympathy for my uncle. Even after all these years, when he gets to the end of the story you can hear the sadness in his voice. I know that Midnight will never be forgotten.

Anna Devine; Colorado, USA

Illustrator: Sophia Brieler; Missouri, USA



This copyrighted story may be copied and/or printed for limited classroom or personal use. To reprint this story and/or illustration in an article about The Grannie Annie, please contact The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration for permission.


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