Scarecrows – Scary or Wary?

Scarecrows – Scary or Wary?

The scarecrow is commonly associated with modern references like the Wizard of Oz and Batman, but its original purpose was to discourage birds such as crows or magpies from disturbing and feeding on recently cast seed and growing crops.  The earliest reference is in Japanese lore (circa 700 AD) in which a Kuebiko is depicted as a  diety which knows everything of the world from its unmoving location among the fields. Yet, maybe all is...

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Lord of the Crows – Maura Anderson

Lord of the Crows – Maura Anderson

Maura Anderson is “one of nine wicked good women who write about magic, fantasy, and the paranormal” , and co-authors Witchy Chicks, a lively fiction writer’s group blog. In her latest short story, titled Lord of the Crows, she weaves a modern fantasy out of an old Samhain fable. “A few breaths pass, then another few in the now silent clearing. Finally a huge male figure stands up through the fog. His skin glows a...

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The Crow and the Fox

The Crow and the Fox

Jean de La Fontaine (July 8, 1621, Château-Thierry – April 13, 1695) was the most famous French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. While he did not hesitate to borrow freely from other writers, both ancient and modern, Jean de La Fontaine nevertheless created a style and a poetic universe at once personal and universal, peculiarly his own and thus inimitable, but also accessible to all. He is...

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The 7 Ravens

The 7 Ravens

Ravens appear in fairytales from all over the world, from simple anecdotes of wisdom (Aesop) to elborate illustrated stories (The Brothers Grimm). This tale,like The Twelve Brothers, The Six Swans, and Brother and Sister, features a woman rescuing her brothers. In the era and region in which it was collected, many men were drafted by kings for soldiers, to be sent as mercenaries. As a consequence, many men made their daughter their heirs;...

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A Murder of Crows

A Murder of Crows

This more poetic term for a flock of crows can be traced back at least to the 15th century, when it was recorded as a “murther of crowes”. Murther is a variant of Middle English murthre ‘murder,’ though the th sound had begun to be replaced with a d around 1300 C.E. There are several theories as to how this particular term came about, but all of them have to do with the supposed behavior of crows. For instance, crows are...

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Raven Poo – Good Luck Omen?

Raven Poo – Good Luck Omen?

One of the oddest old adages states that getting a headful of bird poo is actually quite a lucky event. We believe this has more to do with the odds of it occurring (one in a million) than it has anything to do with the conditioning properties of the poo itself. The amount of luck present in any particular poo seems to be  directly influenced by the type of bird doing the pooping. Since we know corvids are infamous poopers (but not quite as...

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Ravens in Biblical Mythology

Ravens in Biblical Mythology

Regardless of  anyone’s personal philosophy, we believe it is important to learn the significance symbols such as the Crow and Raven have had in cultures throughout the centuries.  Ravens appear several times throughout the Bible, and without having a background in theology it is hard to say if they are used as symbols of greater meaning because of their intelligence, or because they were just prolific in that time period. What we do...

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Japan’s Samurai Blue & the Three Legged Crow

Japan’s Samurai Blue & the Three Legged Crow

We touched on Japanese mythology awhile back, skimming over the several ways in which crows and ravens have spiralled their way into Japanese art, culture, and religion throughout the centuries. With World Cup fever sweeping the land, the “Samurai Blue” color of Japan’s national soccer team can be seen everywhere. Equally familiar is the team’s black crow emblem. Few people, however, look closely enough at this bird to...

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