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The clever crows

Come summer, women trudge miles and miles for precious water. Elsewhere, people keep plastic pails in line and go about their work till they hear the horn of water tankers. But how do the clever crows quench their thirst in the gruelling heat?

Flying high above, they spot leaky taps. So it was one day I saw a crow catching the drops of water from a tap. The muddied water on the ground was not to its liking. I was amazed at its skill.

Next, the crow watched me offering water down my palms to the sun. It looked from a distance and flew away. I got the message. I stopped my ritual in the middle, got a container filled with water, kept it on the boundary wall and continued my worship. Wherever the crow was hiding, it came down in a swoop, looked at either side, then looked up and down, gulped some water, shook its neck and flew to the top of a tall tree in the park opposite our house. The crow must have signalled to its ilk as I saw more of them coming for water. As I continue the practice, two or three crows come at the same time. Researchers on crows and ravens say the birds have remarkable memory of human beings who have hurt them even years before. There is as yet no finding that they remember human beings for kind acts like providing water.

lakshmibashyam@yahoo.com

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 6:01:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/the-clever-crows/article33048680.ece

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