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:

I’ve had an occupant on my porch swing for the last few weeks. He appears around dusk, sleeps there all night, and what a mess he has created by the next morning. He’s always awake as soon as it’s daylight and is soon asking for his breakfast. His caw-caw-caw can be quite annoying. He follows us around the yard and is a unique pet as of now. The boys have hopes of getting him to say a few words, but we’ll see. Our dog isn’t too sure about this blackbird that wants to be his friend. The crow walks up to him and puts his beak against his nose as if to say, “I’m your friend.” The dog quickly leaves and finds another spot to take his nap, only to be followed again and again. Just this morning I saw him tugging at the vines hanging down from my hanging pots on the porch. Our unique pet might end up being a unique pest! 
Our pet crow, Charlie, has indeed proven to be quite a pest. We can’t understand anything he says but he sure does a lot of jabbering, making noises I never knew a crow could make. He is a real pack rat. Anything shiny or brightly colored attracts him immediately.
Charlie quickly grabs it up and takes it to his favorite hiding place in the window wells of the basement or a hole in the concrete blocks of our outside basement steps. Clothes pins have always attracted him and I have to cover my clothes pin pail at all times when I hang up clothes or he carries them off just as fast as he can, one right after the other. Recently he started going in the window shop if the doors are open and carries pens and pencils off.
The other day I heard Charlie making a fuss on the porch so I went to investigate. He had a white screw in his beak that they use on the windows. You might as well forget about chasing him to get it because he really has fun if you do that. We have found the best way to get it is ignore him and watch where he drops it. If you don’t chase him he eventually gets tired of carrying it around.
Charlie’s latest prank is to chase the grandchildren and peck them once he catches up with them. If they don’t start running he won’t do anything, but several of the grandchildren start running and screaming if he comes within 50 feet of them and he loves that.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more about Charlie the Crow…

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