The Crow by Hanna Ade-MacRae

The Crow

All the animals have their place. The mammals roam the land, the fish own the waters and the birds, the sky.

The crow never liked this arrangement, arguing about it since he was a small chick. He was always fascinated by the water; the drops, the clouds, everything. He lived over a large loch and every day he would fly down from his nest, gently touch the water’s surface, and fly back up as his wings were not water proof and he was afraid of drowning. He spent many long hours, days, weeks, thinking about how he could swim and breathe in the water and see the creatures in the deep.

One day, he saw a large bird with a long, lean body. The bird was circling the loch and the crow watched it from his nest. After a few minutes of searching the water, the bird dived, fast, down, down and down, further from sky, to water. It broke the surface and disappeared, to emerge again with a fat salmon in its long beak.  The crow was astounded, and jealous of this wonderful creature diving into the depths. He cawed and chased the heron until he got tired and his wings wouldn’t glide any further.

That night, the crow dreamed about the bird who could pass the boundaries Mother Nature had set, and glide through the water like a perch, or a pike.

While the crow slept a star glistened, shone, and fell from the sky bringing burning fires with it. It fell lower and lower until it fell straight, deep into the loch. It shimmered and made a thin layer of some metallic substance settle on the surface of the still water.

The next morning, the crow did his daily dive. But this morning he wanted to go beneath the surface to face his fears. He had always been afraid and, after seeing that glorious heron, he wanted to be just like it. So, without noticing the metallic shine on the water, he jumped off the branch and down to the water. As he curled his wings up to go faster, he felt heat and warmth from the water. His beak broke the surface and water sprayed around his bleak wings. Where the water touched, his feathers turned green and red, bright splashes of colour engulfed him. His feathers became waterproof and he dived down into the chilled water he had waited all his life to touch.

Laura Hudson Mackay