• Krista Law

Eat Crow.

An idiom suggesting...

“Eat Crow” is an idiom suggesting that the meat of the crow, being a carnivore, is presumably rank and extremely distasteful, and the experience is easily equated to the mental anguish of being forced to admit one’s fallibility.[1] Though I have never tasted an actual Crow, I would concur if they taste anything like they sound.


While I have previously affectionately written about my affinity for a certain band of Crows, the ones who live nearby that wake me up at dawn however, leave me nonplussed. Seattle’s northern latitude draws the sun up at 5:13 AM awakening all living creatures at the same ungodly hour. And since our part of the nation has been blessed with an early summer, I sleep with my window open which invites the cacophony of cawing and coos and clicks from said Crows. Having recently developed a kinship with nature largely via the work of Annie Dillard and her Pulitzer-Prize-winning book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, I am ashamed to be so critical of one of God’s creations. However, my waking might perhaps be more merry were I to be wooed by the melody of the Raven or Western Meadowlark. Even their names ring more harmonic than the Crow’s.


Dillard remarks that “Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly; insects, it seems, gotta do one horrible thing after another.”[2]

I would like to ask her why she didn’t credit the Crow of doing one horrible thing after another, instead of insects. Insects are often invisible and silent (save for the cricket which I might be critiquing if I lived in another part of the country). The Crow however, is neither invisible nor silent.


And yet, Dillard proposes that, “You see what kind of Creator it is by looking at the creation.”[3]

So, this, then begs the question, what kind of Creator is God to make the abominable nuisance of the Crow? While I am exercising my right to hyperbole, I have seriously been considering what the Crow reflects of God’s nature. Is God’s voice grating, hoarse, high-pitched? Is his presence untimely and relentless? Does God intrude and make himself known during times of rest, peace, Sabbath, barbeque? Does he lurk and linger around the edges of my space waiting for scraps that I just might leave behind because I don’t have enough hands to carry everything? Remarkably, the answer to each of these questions is an unequivocal yes. Yes, the Crow is like its Creator – ever-present, persistent, and percussive. And while I am not appreciative for the Crows incessant perturbance at 5:13 in the morning, I am grateful that the Crow has reminded me of the pursuant love of God that is arresting and unyielding, disturbing and persevering.


So, I suppose in an effort to embody τέλειος, I will regretfully disclose the Crow’s redeeming qualities. Did you know that the Crow is wicked smart? I should have guessed, since its genius has unnerved me in an infuriating enough way that I have dedicated this entire post to their noxious presence. Crows are now considered to be among the world’s most intelligent animals. They can remember your face, thereby practicing proper attachment by avoiding gaze aversion. Crows value community. They conspire with one another and team up to attack your hotdog buns. They also mate for life – an endearing quality, I admit. But alas, I must remain congruent to my original tone with one final dismal quality. A collection of crows together is known as a “murder of crows.” Enough said.


[1]http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/eatcrow.htm

[2]Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, p. 20.

[3]Dillard, Yearbook, p. 114

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All