I awoke with a hope of getting one big task completed today, to unpack the hundreds of books I had brought home from school. I had set aside the whole day to accomplish this undertaking and was looking forward to adding the collections to my new bookcase. But if you are like me, arranging picture books isn’t about opening a box and simply placing the texts on a shelf, one could easily get caught up in opening each and every cover and falling in love with a new book. So I had promised myself to stay focused on the task and NOT read ALL the pages.


I came upon a book called Bird Talk, overheard by Ann Jonas. The story is told using “memory phrases” or bird calls known to every bird watcher. As I was flipping through the pages I came across a spread with crows cahing, or shouting “car” as Ann described it, on a phone line. One look at that page and I was immediately transported back to the summer of 1994.

My dad had just been admitted to the hospital and given a dire diagnosis of having a grapefruit sized tumor on the brain. His new doctor, Dr. Crow, had just entered the room to talk to all of us about the prognosis. Needless to say we were all devastated. Not to miss an opportunity to tell a good joke, dad pipes in with his unforgettable story.

“Hey Doctor Crow, you know how when you are driving down the road you often see a dead squirrel or chipmunk but you never see a dead crow. That’s because there is always a crow on the phone line calling “Car, car!”

Seeing this page brought back memories of that dreaded moment and his telling of the joke, at what we thought was the worst possible time. Yet when I took the time to text my family the picture this morning, we all virtually chuckled at the memory of the moment that had taken place twenty-six years ago, almost to the day. What a coincidence, or dare I say crow-incidence! We then shared that we can’t see a crow without thinking of dad. We know that dad is smiling down on us, inspiring us to keep telling jokes, and helping us to stay safe from oncoming traffic and other hazards.

Each Tuesday I share a slice of life post and link my story to the writing community sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. Take a peek and consider joining in.

4 Replies to “Crow-incidence”

  1. Your father sounds like such a fun and upbeat person … how he kept everyone laughing (the best medicine AND the best memories). No “crow-incidence” at all that the book should be there and that this bird should “fly” out to meet you on this particular day, in memoriam. That your father’s doctor was Dr. Crow – too good! I have happy and deep layers of feelings reading this, Christine – as deep as the layers of symbolism you tied together so well.

  2. What a wonderful story, Christine. Your dad must have been quite a guy, and I love that you all think of him when you see crows. A happy crow-incidence today indeed! Great slice!

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