He lay face down in the grass, with his black wings swept down close to his sides, like a perching falcon's. Martha turned him over tenderly. His eye glittered, too bright for death. At his throat a single white underfeather curled like a bunch of lace.
Not a mark on him. We buried him in the back yard without much ceremony, murmuring a few om manis. There is always the moment, burying an animal, when you have cover its eyes with dirt. That's always the real moment of death, for me. Doing something you could not conceivably do to a living creature. I do it gently and unhappily.
We don't know which crow this was, of the three or four who visit regularly. The brash one who swooped straight down to the back porch rail to pick up his kibbles? The prudent one who hung back on a branch of the apple tree, waiting to see what happened to the first before commiting himself? The one who complained if we were late, going round from window to window to remind us of our duties? No telling. Maybe he wasn't even one of ours.
Yesterday I went through my blogroll from top to bottom. I don't keep it up well. Some of the blogs are gone altogether. Three have become private, asking me for passwords; I always wonder if I should email their owners and ask, but I think I already know the answer. Then there are the ones that simply stop. Six months, nine months, a year ago. Those are the ones that trouble me. I suppose I should just have a cut-off date, and move them to a second tucked away blogroll. Title it "inactive" or "hiatus" or something. But it feels like that moment of covering those bright, glittering eyes with earth. I keep putting it off.
Last night I got a comment on one of my posts from one Nasra Al Adawi, whom I didn't know:
Your web was listed as Gulnaz's friends .
In tribute to her Please spread the message and please visit my blog to see what I wrote
The tribute is here. It's lovely. I suppose lots of us fell a little in love with Gulnaz. If any of you knows, please let us know.