Clever Crow

by Cynthia DeFelice
pictures by S.D. Schindler
© 1998

The Story

A story told in nimble rhymes about a clever crow and the even more clever little girl who outsmarts him.

A Note from the Author

When my daughter Shellie was in fourth grade, a crow appeared in our yard one day…and stayed for a while. We never knew where it came from, or whether it was a wild bird or an escaped pet. It was quite tame, and took a special “shine” to Shellie. It would fly from the sky to land on her shoulder, or the top of her head, or to take food from her hand.

We noticed that it was attracted to anything shiny. Shellie had pierced ears, and it loved to peck at her earrings, or a necklace, or the buttons on a shirt. We left objects out on the picnic table to see what would happen—-safety pins, paper clips, and dimes—-and, sure enough, they disappeared! The bird even stole a shiny new fork we left hanging on the barbecue grill!

One winter day I drove to the woods to go cross-country skiing. I carefully put the car keys in my pocket and off I went. But when I returned to the car, I discovered that the keys were gone! I skied back over my trail to find them. The whole time I was hoping that pesky crow wasn’t still around. If it had seen those shiny car keys and flown away with them, I’d never get home!

Luckily, I did find the keys. As I searched, a rhyme went through my head: Clever crow loves shiny things, nickels, quarters, diamond rings….

I realized I wanted to tell a story in rhyme. Putting together the crow that loves shiny objects, and the idea of it stealing the car keys, the book Clever Crow was born.