The Final Chapter of Charlie the Crow

An Amish woman in Indiana found out that crows are very smart birds, even though they seem so ordinary, often annoying. One October afternoon in 2006, this woman’s sons found a crow’s nest and brought home a baby crow. The boys clipped the crow’s wings so he couldn’t fly too far and planned to raise it as a pet, maybe even teach it a few words. They named the baby crow “Charlie.” It wasn’t long, though, before Charlie was running the household ragged, especially the poor dog. This is the Amish woman’s story of “Charlie the Crow,” written over nine months, in her scribe letters to The Budget–published with her permission:

Our taxi driver loves to drive in and throw a shiny penny out—that quick Charlie catches it and struts around with it in his beak. If you ignore Charlie and just observe, he’ll usually drop it and you can get it…if you are quick enough.

Charlie carries his pencils and clothes pins in his beak sticking straight out. He doesn’t put them in crosswise. He takes my clothes pins and jabs them into the ground hard enough that they stick in the ground and stand there sticking up real straight. It usually takes a good pull to get it out of the ground, especially if the ground is wet.

Periodically, Charlie comes strutting in from the barn with a freshly killed mouse in his beak. And yes, he eats it, on our front porch! Yuck! He also ate other little birds, saving the claws and carrying them around for days from one place to the other.

The era of Charlie the crow is now history. He was on his perch on the porch as usual about 10 pm one night and the next morning at 5:15 he was nowhere around which was unusual. We have a feeling an owl or hawk got him. Even though we miss his jabbering it’s nice to take the clothes pins out to the clothes line and leave them there with no worry of having them carried off. He loved to go to the garden with us and I had already imagined him pecking the tomatoes once they turned red because of his attraction to bright colors.

A-h-h. One less thing to be concerned about.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Poor Charlie!

  2. Saloma says:

    This is quite the amazing story! I just barely started getting "The Budget" this week. We used to have it around when I was growing up, but that was thirty years ago.

    I find the Charlie stories very well written. Not all the scribes for "The Budget" are that good at writing. Does she mind if you reveal her name or location? (I'd like to read her letters).

    BTW, did you hear the NPR News story about "The Budget" last week? It wasn't very long, but I was rather surprised.

    Thanks for sharing the stories about Charlie. I'll be back to read more of your blog

    All best,