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:

Charlie the Crow is very fond of dog food so one of our drivers brings some along for the dog and the crow. Every morning when he drives in they are both right there waiting for him to toss some out for them. The crow can snatch it up before the dog has a chance to get it and so far he still intimidates and gets the best of the dog. He also loves to sit on your arm and eat dog food out of your hand.

Our pet crow is still alive and well. Too well, sometimes! He jabbers around and sometimes when he’s carrying on it actually sounds like children talking in a distance. He spent the last two days in a case as his punishment for dumping out small pots of flowers that we got to put in an old milk can. I came home from town, set my flowers outside and quick as a wink he had emptied a 3” pot and took off across the yard with the empty pot in his beak. We retrieved the pot and put the plant in again. After doing it three or four times there was hardly any dirt left on the plant. He doesn’t seem to bother them after they are in baskets so we planted them last night and let him loose. We shall see what happens.

I was sitting on the porch swing last night reading our local paper and had laid some advertisements beside me on the swing. He sneaked up behind me, pulled the ads through the crack between the seat and the back of the swing, then took off running. He didn’t fare too well when he tried to fly up over the porch railing with this big paper flapping in his beak. He dropped it so I quick grabbed it. He then had a big pity party out in the yard. He put his head down on the grass and jabbered away. I didn’t understand a word but I’m still wondering what he was trying to say. We have one member in the family that thinks he would make a good target to try out her shotgun on, but so far no one else agrees.

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