Oily, dark, huge, satin-like gloss, it was looking down at a shimmering object between the two feet, seeing me coming, solidified solidly. Those tan eyes stared straight at me, like staring somewhere behind me, more like seeing my existence. It was noon, and the chill of midnight rose along my spine. After a moment of confrontation, the king turned indifferently like a king, effortlessly fluttered his wings, grasped his plaything between his toes, and made a bright line in the air. Many years ago, I met a 60-centimeter-long raven on a forested grassland in Yellowstone National Park.
It should be a raven of the same size, and on a night in the middle of the 19th century, it landed on a statue of Athena in the door of a young man’s study. “This ominous ancient bird”, “This ghostly terrible crow, wandering from the other side of the night”, no matter what the young man asked it, it answered: “Never return.” Ellen Poe’s long poem ” The Raven has shaped one of the most gloomy and memorable birds in the history of Western literature, and since then, the Raven, the messenger of hell, has become the standard configuration of the Gothic style.
Crows are members of the Corvidae family. There are about 117 species of Corvidae. Birds belonging to the Corvidae family also include magpies, jay crows, red-billed mountain crows, and star crows. Among them, the genus Corvus is the real crow we say, including both raven, bald-nosed crow and jackdaw. Interestingly, the image of the crow was far less negative in ancient times. In the Great Flood story of the oldest human epic “Gilgamesh”, in order to understand whether the flood has receded, Uttar Pizm released pigeons, swallows and raven from the ark one after another. There is no proof of a returned raven. The suffering caused by heaven is over. Because the crow is monogamous, in the symbolic system of ancient Egypt, the crow represented loyal love. In ancient Greece, the crow was also a symbol of auspicious marriage. Although the Jewish law regards crows as unclean birds, it is mentioned ten times in the Bible and the Old Testament. The most important thing is the sentence: “If you want a crow, you do n’t grow it, you do n’t take it, and you have no warehouse There is no storehouse, God still feeds it. ”
The popular TV series “Game of Thrones” takes the Ravens as an important element. If you look back from the history of culture, it can be traced back to the Viking tradition. As the supreme god, Odin is sometimes called the “king of the raven”. He has two raven, called “Hugin,” Thought) and “Munin” (memory). The majesty of the crow, the dark color, and the love of carrion make it a symbol of death. But on the other side, it is also seen as a magical protective force. In England, for example, it is forbidden to cause any harm to the Ravens, and offenders will be heavily punished. In folk beliefs, King Arthur has become a raven, and the people are afraid to accidentally kill the legendary monarch. Until the last decades of the 19th century, the legend continued to prevail in Wales and Cornwall, and even spawned a variant: if the Ravens left the Tower of London, Britain would fall. In 1883, the managers of the Tower of London began to domesticate the Ravens, and now it has become a hot tourist project.
Crow life modality
In the East, there is an ancient mythical tradition that associates crows with the sun. In the Book of Mountains and Seas, “Ten Days Legends” are recorded. They are the sons of Emperor Tian Jun and Xun He. They are transformed into “Jinwu” and live on the hibiscus tree in Tanggu. Out. ” “Huainanzi” said “there is a black owl in Japan and China”, and Guo Kun made a note that “there is a three-footed wu in the middle”. The deified three-footed crow conveys the weight of the crow in culture.
In China where filial piety is valued, folks have given a very positive image to crows. “Crow feeding” refers to adult crows feeding young cubs. When young cubs grow up, they will in turn feed old crows. For example, the Song of Jackdaw by Su Dong in the Tang Dynasty: “Fly a little to fly around the water village, not to know the twilight on the street. In the past, the appetite became sparse, but the whole life was backed by grace.” The “Book” and the like have similar records. Like “Lamb kneeling milk”, “Crow feeding” is a typical example of moral education.
Ravens are rare in China, and the most common are jackdaw of about 25 cm. The roaring raven array consisting of dozens, hundreds, or even hundreds of jackdaws is a common sight of urban and rural life in winter. Perhaps it’s because they don’t have the sense of deterrence like a raven. Since ancient times, the Jackdaw has been flying between countless lines of poetry and paintings.
In the “Maple Bridge Night Poetry” written by Tang Zhangji, there is “the moon is falling and the sky is full of frost,” and Song Xin’s disease, “The Night” is “worrying in the night, but the green in Liutang is gentle. Hate, do n’t believe that there are white heads in the world, ”Song Wentianxiang ’s“ Qinyuanchun ”said that“ the ancient temple is gloomy, the appearance is elegant, and the dead trees are a few sunsets. ” crow”.
The Jackdaw has always been isomorphic with the setting sun, dead wood, Xiaosuo, and loneliness as the image of dusk, but occasionally it becomes the protagonist. I am delighted by the “Badwood Jackdaw” of the Badashan people. Four jackdaws perched among the fallen branches and stones, or they sing, or sleep side by side. They are full of energy, their eyes are toward the human, and they have the pride of humanity. Van Gogh’s posthumous work, “The Ravens in the Wheat Field,” is a puppet of death, and the crows of the Badashan people have a unique life style. Similarly, there is a zheng song “Jaw Crow Playing in the Water” in Chaozhou. It is fresh and lively, with ups and downs. If you hear its sound and see its shape, it interprets the fun of the Jackdaw playing in the water, and its life is lively.
In addition to “crowds” of culture, biological crows are also worth studying. The story of “The Crow Drinks Water” in Aesop’s Fables has been circulating for a long time, suggesting that the crow will use tools. In 2002, scientists observed a crow named Betty in an Oxford University laboratory. It can bend a piece of metal into a hook to hook inaccessible food, which means that the crow will make tools. In 2014, a genius crow nicknamed “007” showed his talents in a documentary filmed by the BBC. It took only 2 minutes and 30 seconds to complete 8 steps: first, get a wooden stick tied with a rope, and use a wooden stick Obtain three stones in three different compartments, then press the seesaw with the three stones to get the long wooden stick at the other end, and finally use the long wooden stick to pick out the meat in the compartment. This shows that crows not only have access to tools, but also have working memory, which is a very important part of their intelligence.
Crow is not only amazing in IQ, but also in EQ. Ornithologists have observed that crows “repay” people as gifts. In 2015, a little girl named Gabi Mann in Seattle packed some peanuts every day and put them in the yard for crows. After the peanuts were eaten, there were occasional gadgets on the plate: an earring, a bolt , Buttons, a small white plastic tube, and a small piece of metal with the word “best” printed on it. A study of 30 ravens by Thomas Bougnial and colleagues found that when two ravens quarreled fiercely, there were less than two minutes of spectators making soothing actions on the victims, Including combing its feathers, kissing it, touching its body lightly with its beak, and making a soft, low soothing sound, which means that the Raven has human-like “compassionate care.”
On the brain, crows are at or near the pinnacle of the bird world, and only parrots can compare with them. Perhaps because of excess intelligence, they often play some entertaining games, such as flying into the air with a small branch, throwing this toy, and then diving down to catch it. Another example is to break the snow on the sloping roof and use these snow blocks as a sled to slide down. To humans, the behavior of crows often seems incomprehensible. Naturalist David Cuiman believes that the entire crow family of crows is full of unusual and erratic behaviors, so that it is not the ornithologists but the psychiatrists who urgently need to explain it.