Thursday, March 25, 2010

Alec the Crow

When we were young, we had a variety of pets. Not only dogs and cats were found around the house, but also were turtles, rabbits, 'coons, and other animals. The following stories from Don and Gerald McKibben struck my funny bone and I thought I would post it here for others to chuckle about. It is from a couple of emails, but putting it here will preserve it for a laugh later...

Don writes:

I do believe he was capable of performing almost any task that would irritate our mother....she took great pride in her Spring flowers, her favorites were the beautiful and very sweet smelling Hyacinth....she always had several, pink, purple and other pastel colors that bloomed in early Spring.

When the Hyacinths were in full bloom, Alec would pull each individual bloom from the plant.....mother would come out to check on her plants, see how he had pulled all the blooms off, and after she "lit in on him", scolding him, threatening to catch him and put him under a wash tub(that was the punishment he most-hated and mother's favorite) and let him stay there all day.

When he heard her scolding him, he would go directly to the Hyacinth blooms he had pulled off, pick them up individually and with his beak, force each one in the ground.....he seemed to take great pride in his placement of each bloom in the dirt with just a small amount of the bloom left in view.....after he finished sticking all of the blooms in the dirt, he seemed to be proud of his accomplishment.

Gerald mentioned about his ability to talk.....the funniest part about his episodes with Mother was after she would pause from threatening and scolding him for something he had done, he would get a safe distance away from her AND SCOLD HER.....that would go on for a while, back and forth until Mother finally gave up and went back in the house. Many days when we returned home from school, we found Alec under a wash tub......after we rescued him, he was on his best behavior the rest of the day, sitting on our shoulder, gently rubbing his head against our face.

There are many stories about him....seeing the episode you sent, Carl, brought back many memories....maybe Gerald will add more stories......stealing clothes pins off the clothes line.....letting the freshly-washed clothes fall to the ground, then hiding the clothes holes in fence posts....we found hidden clothes pins in strange places long after he was gone. He also knew who liked him and who didn't.....our Aunt Lillian teacher....disliked him and he knew it and could pick her out in a crowd of relatives....sneak up behind her and almost take a plug out of her leg or behind, then fly up in a nearby tree and boast about it !

I'll hush about Alec.....I agree with Gerald, he (really) could talk !

From Gerald:
The attached picture is not a good one but is the only one I have.

Don talked about him burying things. Once Mother was setting out onion plants in the garden. When she got to the end of the row she turned and saw that Alec had quietly gone behind her and pulled up every single onion plant. To his credit he had poked them into the ground again, but not where Mother wanted them.


  1. Is he alive in this picture? Or stuffed???

  2. Yes, he followed Gerald hunting one day and never returned, we assumed other crows killed him.

    I just wish Gerald had taken more pictures of him. There are many more examples of some of the amazing acts of mischief I remember. We had dairy cows and sold the milk to the Carnation plants in the area. After milking the cows, we poured the milk from the buckets into the milk cans that were used to transport the milk daily, thru a strainer that fit into the top of the milk can....the milk was filtered thru a round, cotton filter that was located in the bottom of the strainer, new filters were used each morning and night.

    We purchased those filters from the milk plants as needed by writing a note to the milkman requesting a certain quantity of filters....I don't remember the quantity we purchased each time but we always left 2 dimes on top of the note, then placed a brick on top of the 20 cents and note, all on top of the full milk can, the filters would then be delivered that afternoon when the empty milk cans were returned. I remember one day our milkman told our mother that he would bring her filters, but she needed to pay him for the last few orders.....a conversation ensued, mother assuring him she ALWAYS left 2 dimes with the note....the milkman countering that the brick and note were always there but he hadn't seen any dimes in a long time. I think she agreed to pay him what he said we owed for filters and from then on, she would actually hand him the 20 cents each time we needed filters.

    It seems like a long time after we had assumed Alec to have been killed, I was repairing the barb-wire fence near the location of the milk cans and noticed something shiny wedged into a crack in a fence post....I retrieved the shiny dime, then began to inspect all the posts.....I found several dimes along with many clothes pins and my treasured, toy John Deere tractor that had been lost for a long time !

  3. ROFL!!!!

    What a zany bird...

  4. Remember the crow at Conlee's store near Twitchell Hill? He talked...said "have a coke", "hello", and many whistles including the wolf whistle every time a lady came by.


  6. Great stories, Don and Gerald.