Elizabeth Bishop wrote a poem about a crow, and perhaps that is why they interest me, though they tend to leave my kitchen balcony to the pigeons. But the woman who lives across the street, as I've said, occasionally dumps a little dish of leftovers on a ledge of the church's buttress, watched, from a safe distance, by a couple of crows. When she goes back inside, the crows swoop down and pick through the goodies. Once they brought a chicken leg or thigh to the zinc roof out the kitchen door and cleaned it meticulously and left the bone lying on the roof. It's still there, a couple of months later. Sky burial, I guess, though it also brings to mind a wonderful children's book I may have a copy of, somewhere, about a talking bone. I wonder if the clean white bone on the slope of the roof opposite is talking, only too low for me to hear it.

I put a still meaty chicken leg on one of my flower pots, hoping to attract a crow of my own, but not luck. It was untouched a week later, so I threw it out. Meanwhile my husband has bought some little plastic pinwheels to stick in the flower pots and keep the pigeons away. I think I was hoping that if I had a crow of my own, the pigeons might not try to sneak back in our absence.

We are off to the Vaucluse this morning on a nice fast train, to spend Christmas with my husband's family.