I spent this past Valentine's Day with the many different species of animals, birds, and other marine wildlife at the Seattle Aquarium. It was the third field trip for Listening to Zoo Animal Ambassadors, and we had let all of the animals know that we were coming to be with them to listen, collect their prayers for ceremony, and perhaps offer a little Reiki here and there.
It was Friday night, and I decided to celebrate coming to the end of my work week with some takeout pizza from Mioposto and a beer.
The Adirondack chair in the backyard was bathed in late afternoon sunlight, and it looked like the perfect place to sit and enjoy the latest Penric and Desdemona novel, crack open a cold IPA, and kick back. My first bite of pizza was so delicious…and then, I heard the swish of wings as crow Rogue flew directly over my head—I had company.
Rogue’s relationship with me has undergone an evolution over the last few years into something that is difficult to define. He’s always been bolder, and far more demanding than his mate, Milady. He knows that I know that his favorite nut is cashew (organic raw, no salt), and I have been reduced to special ordering them for him since he will ignore the offering of other types of mixed nuts and look at me indignantly if I don’t produce his daily two cashews first. Rogue knows I can hear him (one of the disadvantages of being an animal communicator) so I cannot plead ignorance of his wishes, and when I can I will do special orders at the Wild Rose Café (my home office).
When I have leftover roast chicken I am also aware that Rogue’s favorite part is the crispy skin. It also happens to be mine. One day, impatiently overseen by Rogue, I placed the leftover pieces of chicken at the usual curbside spot for pickup, but this time there was no chicken skin left. Carrying the box containing the remaining bits, I headed for the yard waste/compost bin. I heard an indignant sound. Turning around, I discovered Rogue hurrying after me with his characteristic sailor’s rolling walk. He had totally bypassed the juicy chicken tidbits, and demanded to know where his serving of skin was. I was reduced to peeling what I could off the knuckle-bone. Thankfully, that was enough to satisfy him.
While Milady is occupied during nesting season Rogue starts spending more time with me. Most of the time it feels like friendship, once in a while I wonder if I am an odd substitute girlfriend.
Recently, Rogue has taken to sitting in the pine tree by my office and cawing three times. It finally dawned on me that he was mimicking the sound I make with the crow caller—I always caw three times. Apparently we now have a family call.
I’ve also heard him calling from outside the catio. When I investigate, he’ll either be perched on my lounge chair, or he’ll be peering down at me from the roof gutter.
One of the oddest aspects of our relationship is that my cat Manitou perceives Rogue as a rival for my affections and the territory. Rogue likes to tease him by landing somewhere near me, strutting and posing like he owns the yard. Manitou gets furious, chattering at him and lashing his tail. It feels awkward to be in the middle…
So, the first thing I did when Rogue dropped in on my Friday night solo celebration was mentally check that Manitou was still in the house having a nap. And that made me feel like I was sneaking around…
After landing nearby, Rogue strutted about in front of me, the sun’s rays causing his black feathers to glow with a beautiful almost metallic sheen, and I complimented him on how handsome he was looking. I then second guessed myself by wondering if that could be defined as flirting.
I did share some pizza crust with him, but Rogue was also there for the company. He ignored the last two pieces, taking up a perch on the back of my new lounge chair, and looking quite comfortable. It seems to make a natural perching spot—other birds and the squirrels have been using it, too.
Finally, Rogue landed on the arm of the Adirondack chair next to me. Anyone seeing us might have thought we were having a Friday night pizza and beer date. I sincerely hope Milady and Manitou don’t mind…
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A WILD WAY TO HEAL
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is an animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic energy healer, and author. Her classes, sessions and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.