10-Minute Stories – The Crow & The Loaf

It was a crushing blow; to the raven, that is. The prize loaf was not retrievable, at least not if you were a raven living amongst humans.

The day had started on a bright note, with the discovery of a fresh loaf of bread in a dumpster, next to a sandwich shop. Humans were messy, and there was always some decent food lying around in the back of the establishment. As a matter of fact, there was usually a reasonably tasty snack lying around the front in the afternoon. All one had to do was to swoop down and grab it; eat it in mid-air, even.

ps - raven

Young ravens loved to practice the art of the swoop and adults frequently lured their young to this location for this very reason. This is precisely where Sam the raven had learned the technique, only today he felt a bit over-confident. He would admit this himself.

The dumpster had been left open. The loaf was irresistible. Why on earth a human would ditch an entire loaf made no sense at all, but ravens knew that human folly was sometimes a great blessing to their own kind.

He started from a perfect angle, on the wire above the dumpster and a bit to the right. He was a large raven, and mighty strong. Holding on to the loaf should prove easy, but in his haste to have a bite, he grabbed it from his talons and it was so hard that his beak could not take a good grasp of it. It slipped and fell in the middle of the highway.

Sam was sitting back on the wire, contemplating his embarrassing circumstances, when he noticed a female human walk to the road, pick up the loaf and motion for him to follow her behind the building. There, she placed the loaf down and gestured to Sam, who had indeed followed, to resume his feast.

And there, Sam shared his meal with fellow ravens. No one said a word, yet he was still a bit embarrassed. Indeed, he was a bit of a blushing crow.


Topic: Spoonerisms. Begin with “a crushing blow,” end with “a blushing crow.” For this exercise, I found inspiration in an incident I actually experienced myself, one day, when I retrieved a bag of nuts from a busy road after seeing a raven try to get to it, and invited him to follow me to a safer place where I put the snack down for him to enjoy.

The Book: Take Ten For Writers

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