Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 21: Error

On my way to work this morning I watched a crow fluttering near a tree trying to land. The tree was tall, with thin, bare branches. The crow attempted to perch on one of the slender boughs near the the tippy-top, but its weight made the bough instantly bend all the way downward, and the bird lost its balance. Almost upside-down, it fluttered to hang on, but the branch was just too light for it, and it eventually had to fly off before it slipped off.

It's not often you see a bird make an error of judgement like that. In some situations, that could be a fatal mistake. Perhaps this was a young bird that hadn't yet figured out weight ratios. Or, because crows are naturally curious creatures, perhaps it was just fooling around, trying to see if it could successfully land on the branch despite all appearances to the contrary. Or perhaps it was a self-test of skill, in which the perfect approach or just the right landing might have worked.

It was a breezy morning, and I like to think the wind had instilled a sense of silliness into the crow. Let's see if I can land here, I imagine it thinking. And I was lucky enough to catch the moment it tried (and failed) as I drove past.

Branch won't hold you, crow.
I wonder what you're thinking
as you slip, fly off.

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