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I'm on vacation. Today's column is written by Judie Heller. Judie was one of two Runner-Up Winners at the Write a Dear Reader Contest.
Judie's niece started reading when she was three years old, but the books published for three year olds were picture books and didn't have any words. So Aunt Judie began writing stories for her young niece to read. (Her niece is now 45 years old.)
Today's column is the first time Judie has ever written anything for adults.
Congratulations Judie! It was a pleasure to read your column. I bet your niece used to love reading your stories and I'm sure she'd love reading today's story, too.
A Guest Column by Judie Heller:
"One of our own is down!"
The frantic cry was in the language of crows, coming from an unusually large and gleaming black bird sitting on the top of our backyard fence. The response was almost immediate, and undeniable. Within moments there were eleven of the shining creatures arrayed on the edge of the neighboring garage, with an additional nine joining the alert-giver on the fence.
My husband had just come back from filling the bird feeders in the yard, telling me that there was a sick or injured crow down in the grass. As he reached for the phone to call The Humane Society, I stepped onto the back patio to see if there was anything I could do. It was just then that the large crow settled onto the fence and raised the alarm..."One of our own is down!"
While I have seen flocks of crows many times in my life, never had I witnessed such a scene. The gathering crows were silent. A few landed on the ground near the dying bird, but most clustered on the fence and the garage roof. The cry from the original bird continued, the sole call to be heard..."One of our own is down."
The flock remained in place until there was no more movement from the downed bird. Then, as one, they rose and flew into the morning sky.
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