Darwin In Action

A Lesson Learned

Once upon a time there was a gang of crows. They were adolescent crows, and had they lived in a “decent” neighborhood, they likely would still have been under the tutelage of their parents, teachers, and older siblings. But these crows were not. These crows had long been given up on by the rest of crow society, and as such, they had formed an alliance of terror.

Getting food was easy. Unknown to most people, crows are a particular timid species of bird. They are highly social, and rarely engage in tribal warfare. Because of this, it is particularly easy for any one crow to chase any other crow away from a food source. Because they are so timid, they rarely do this.

Similar to mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas are extremely shy when it comes to confronting other mountain gorillas. They only will attack if they meet up with somebody half their size, like non-silverback gorilla’s and hikers who wander into their troupe. For this reason, mountain gorillas live very far apart from each other.

But these crows, these delinquents, were much more aggressive than regular crows. Getting food was easy. Just their small gang, which only numbered between ten and twenty, could easily frighten off a much larger group who had found a particularly rich food source, like a garbage dump or an overturned Pringles truck on it’s way to the convenience store.

So getting food wasn’t a problem for these crows, as it was for most other crows. And because it wasn’t a problem, the constant anxiety most crows feel about getting their next meal didn’t occupy their heads. And as such, they quickly became bored.

So they hatched a plan to bring terror onto a local farmer. This particular farmer had a huge corn farm, and crows of all sorts were swooping in and eating corn until their bellies were full. And because this farmer didn’t have any scarecrows to speak of, he was well liked among the crow community. Which made this group of delinquent crows very angry. So they set their sites on the best way to terrorize this poor farmer, and subsequently show their viciousness to the crow community at large. These young crows wanted to make a name for themselves.

So the plan was to wait until first light, when the farmer would come outside of his house to perform his daily farming routines. They crows, of course, had no ideas what these daily routines were, they just knew that he was outside for several hours. They decided then that they would terrorize him, and inflict as much harm as they could.

They crows were gathered, close to the house, waiting for the farmer to come out. Had they been able to understand English, or any other farming language, this is what they should have heard:

“What on earth are all those crows doing out there? They never come this close.” The farmer’s wife said, looking out the window. The farmer came to the window to see.

“Hot Damn!” he said, running to the closet. The farmer’s wife shook her head in playful disgust.

“You and your toys,” she said, getting back to finishing up breakfast. She scoffed when the farmer picked up the phone.
“Yea, call Jack and Alfonse, tell them to get on over, the crows are just sitting their, waiting for it.” The farmer hung up the phone, a big smile spreading across his face.
“You be careful. I don’t want to spend another week without a phone. Last time you and your fool friends did this, you wrecked the phone lines.”
“Yea, yea, we’ll wait till they’re clear,’ said the farmer.

Meanwhile, the crows were wondering what was taking so long. They also became curious when a couple pickup trucks showed up. They got excited when the saw the plump figures get out of the cars.

“This is gonna be fun!” said one young, ambitious crow.
“Just wait until they’re outside before we strike. Aim for their eyes.” Said the oldest crow. The others smiled in evil consent.

“Dang, they sure are just sitting ducks, ain’t they?” Said Alfonse, loading up his semi automatic Remington 12 Gauge. It had been modified to hold twelve shells.

The farmers came outside, smiling, and slightly worried about not shooting the phone lines, like they did last time.

“Let’s go!” cried the lead crow.

They didn’t get far. One by one the farmers gleefully picked them off, as they swooped down. Soon they were surrounded by dead crows that thumped to the ground, their weight slightly heavier than normal due to the buckshot.

“Wow, that was fun. Thanks for the call Elmer,” they said, and climbed back into their trucks.

Far off in the distance, two older crows sat atop a scarecrow that had seen better days.

“Darwin at work,” said one.
“Ain’t that a fact,” said the other.

Then they both returned to the great feast that lay before them.