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Here is the next excerpt from Beatrice Page’s (my grandmother) unpublished manuscript, Landscape With Figures:

“Whoever coined the phrase ‘as the crow flies’ to describe the shortest distance between two points never watched crows at daybreak when they first wake up. They are seemingly catapulted out of the trees, one after another at split-second intervals, sometimes only two or three, sometimes a small flock, all cawing loudly and incessantly as they flap around wildly, as if drunk and having trouble keeping their balance and sense of direction. I can discern no pattern or purpose, just a brawling, sprawling pandemonium until they manage to shake the sleep out from under their wings, regain balance and perspective, quiet down and set off presumably in search of food in a straight line ‘as the crow flies.’

Another thing I’ve noticed about crows, which I’ve never seen mentioned in a bird book, is a peculiar sound they make at times. Everyone know that crows caw, but this other sound they make is a rapid succession of clicks, something like that of castanets. I haven’t been able to figure out what they mean by it.”

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