Unwelcome at the Rookery

Why Rooks?

Several reasons. Rooks are the underbirds of CorvoNet Society.
Perhaps because they don't have the glamorous image of Ravens.
Nor apparently even the mischievous intelligence of Crows.

And in my skies, they are positively unpopular. People shoot them.
"Vermin!" My unregarded, unloved, despised little brethren.
Rooks always seem to look a little sad, and often dress in black.

Caw? I feel some affinity with them. Hr'k-hr'k!

[image 26k]
The Sad Little Rook
Photographed in Selborne, Hampshire, England. March 1998

CAW! CAW! [flustered fluttering about in tree] I'm in no mood for visitors! Let me make that plain to start with. CAER? Oh, stay if you insist, but I do hope that's not a shotgun you're pointing at me. Okay, you can call it a camera. Hr'k. I don't care. It still makes me nervous. Oooh, my nest is so untidy! [frantic shoving and pulling at bits of twig] Do you think the porchy-thing is okay? Looks a bit lopsided to me. It was so wretched-windy last night. Wailing and making my tree sway about too much. I ought to poke at my foundation sticks too. Springtime in England is so depressing. Hr'k.

Oops, mind your head on that branch! Perhaps I should peck it through before it takes over the whole of my backyard, but I quite like a pellet-proof screen to peep around. There was a pretty-coloured caterpillar on there yesterday, but I didn't peck at that one. Silly of me really; I ate lots of them in Farmer Joe's field. But I thought I'd just let that one be, and watched it crawl around; one fine summer's day it might turn into a really beautiful butterfly and flitter round my nest. Hr'k. Maybe I'll eat it then.

And maybe I'll peck your eyes out if you come any closer to my nest! CAW! CAW! CAW! That'll bring all my darkest friends along to check you out as a potential predator. And a share of eyeballs. Hr'k. Oh, you only came to look? Krah, well I've heard all about Rook-pie! Hraek! Remember that Corvids can attack unexpectedly even against bad odds. It is a matter of record that Earthwalkers have been killed messing with our nests. [darkshouldered wingshrug] Okay, maybe we were just lucky. Are you feeling lucky today? Caer?

That's better. Are you sitting comfortably? You look like a mostly-harmless type anyway. And you wanted to know more about the Corvidae. Okay, we are all the birds of the Crow Family. Well, I'm a Corvus corax. That's a Raven to you. Uh, I'm a little one. In disguise too: no-one notices me hiding among the local Rooks, Corvus frugilegus. Just one more stealthy darkwinged creature unseen in the trees. So hush your bill! I'd rather take my chances of being shot in this sky, in preference to being locked up in the Tower of London. You know our honourable brethren suffer to have their wings clipped there! Hrak! All for the sake of Legend! I call it cheating. Typical Earthwalker cheating! Because of ancient bad business between Kings and Magicians. Hr'k. Miserable lot they were too.

Ummh, I have lots of little Shiny Things around somewhere. [head to one side, blink of black and beady eyne] Can't remember where I've cached them now though. Besides, they probably need polishing up a bit. Where did I leave those bullion bars? Hraek? [croaks innocently, wings folded over tail] I do hope those wretched cheerful-chirpy Jackdaws haven't found them: Corvus monedula will have away with anything!

So probably best if you just flap around and caw to the sky for a while. [mournful mopeycroaks, absently billcrushing feather-mites from underwings] If there is no answer, try diving through the Corvospace jumpgates below. But do caw by here again sometime. I'm planning on a big extension and a pair of guest wings. Eh? Caw? Think louder! No, just as I said it! CAW! One wing is of no use at all! HRAK! What a silly expression! Thought that was obvious, even to Earthwalkers. Hr'k. [indignant feather ruffling] Anyway, you might as well go away; it is time for my post-meridian sky inspection. I really don't like the look of that nasty little patch of clouds creeping up from the northeast. Cr'rrrk! We don't have climate in England, in-my-beaky-opinion. We just have whether. As in rain or sun. You may blame the Storm-Crows for this. [waggle of rookish beak]

Ugh, this drizzly rain! You're getting wet. Serves you right for standing around in my woods. Why are you dressed in black and talking to treetops anyway? If you are going to your funeral, you should be inviting the Carrion Crows Corvus corone corone. Your accent is atrocious by the way. You must be foreign, like. Not proper Hampshire-caws. Haven't you got a nest to go to? Uhh, reminds me, must check something...

CAW! My cellar is flooding! HRAEK! My BOOKERY is being dripped upon! HRAK! Here, be useful and hold these SCROLLS for me then. You can read if you want, but you're not expected to enjoy. Caw? [bows, fans ebon tailfeathers] Besides, they are bill-scribed in Ancient Corvospeak: not many understand that lingo. And don't let any twittery little Sparrow tear them up for nest-lining! HRAK! I'll be back in two jabs of a Buzzard's bill. CAW! Gotta go get my special collection of roof-mending sticks. HRAERRKKK! I fly in haste before the storm! [opens black and ragged wings]

Meanwhile, here is the Rook Botherer's Observations File. Real-life notes of watching the local Corvids. Mainly from Hampshire, England. By my pet-human: I've been teaching it to see. Heh, the more I study them, the more they seem to be studying me. (:>) I'm not a Terribly Serious Ornithologist type, by the way, in case it wasn't obvious. (;>~

You could get quickly bored of this however, even if you are a Corvophile. My main site is also endlessly unfinished, but depressingly longer. There are some more Corvids flying round those skies though. CAW-HRARRK!
The Hall of Broken Mirrors

Ah! Still here? [thoughtful feather-ablutions] You still want more? CAW! Go bother some otherbird! (:>)

Or gladden the black heart of a rain-lashed, misery-cawful Darkwing:
send commiseration to The Sad Little Rook. CAW?
MAIL TO: Frugilegus@ptech.demon.co.uk (subject = SadBlueSky)

Please don't bother sending me mail in HTML or other discourteously non-plaintext formats:
I have them blocked at mailserver level and deleted unread. Heh. If you don't know why,
and are clueless as to what Netiquette is all about go here first. Hr'rrrrk.... PLAINCAW POSTING

"Please do not send spam to this address. Account termination and a beak in the eye often offends."
~ CyberCrow, Jan2001

These, mine Corvid Pages permanently sprouting new quills. Last update 28mar01

Blacker was he than blackest jet, Flew low in the rain, and his feathers not wet. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1797