Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ravens and Crows

Ploughman's Son - Another discussion point

Crows. Ravens. Black birds of death.

Whatever they go by, they've taken a "beating of the wings" over time. So this morning, I went over to my Dad’s house to make sure everything was okay (he’s out of town for the moment). So I pull up to the end of the driveway and check the mail. Putting my car window down I start to here the cawing. Lots of cawing.

As I got out the car, I saw the trees full of crows. Hundreds, maybe thousands of them. Creepy.

When I returned to my car, Ploughman’s Son was sitting on the passenger seat with the cover staring at me. With a crow on it. Creepier.

Now it’s lunch time and I’m reading more of Ploughman’s Son. Alain, the major character, has been scared (physically and emotionally) by his mother. He finally reveals the patterns of his scars to two other characters. He chest has a large raven stretching from shoulder to shoulder, neck to stomach. Even Creepier.

I don’t really want to get into the content of the story (as I’m still reading it), so here’s some interesting tidbits about ravens and crows. The raven and crow are related, yet different (ravens are Corvus corax, while crows are Corvus brachyrhynchos). Ravens weigh more and have a wider wingspan. The raven has a pointed tail while the crow’s is more square. Their bills also differ with the raven’s being more curved.

For me, crows and ravens have always been a bit evil. For me, it’s always been from Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. I can still remember being totally freaked out in school when we went to see the play. Even now, reading the Wheel of Time series, the crow is a spy for the Dark One.

So to further the discussion, what other differences do you know about between ravens and crows? What scary or creepy things have happened to you with crows or ravens? Do you really believe they are evil creatures or have they gotten the same bad stereotype as snakes (from the garden of Eden)?

1 comment:

Chewy Milk said...

I know that crows, ravens and other birds within that same family are among the smartest in the world, and are known to use and create their own tools. Maybe this has something to do with why they have this negative stereotype. "Otherworldly" intelligence + dark scary color + the fact they that sometimes eat carrion = evil bird. Maybe.