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There was an extended moment of silence and indeed stillness, as each of the Crows took into consideration the turn of events.
Colin now recalled that 'Clive' was the flashy boy from the hotel side of the fencinnade - the very fellow with whom Cara didn't want their son Clarence to be keeping company. The one who had taught their son to bait the brahmacharins and to allow himself be made the live target for feather-tag practice. Clive, who seemed to take a special interest in their son and did not appear to understand the meaning of 'no'.
Clarence watched his father closely. When he'd brought the matter up, he had not entirely thought it through. Now he too was starting to build a picture which was somewhat disconcerting.
Cara saw her boys working on the equation and decided to take action. With an enormous flurry worthy of any Bollywood Starling, she went into a wild and athletic dance. Her head moved from side to side so fast it became a blur and her shoulders moved up and down to a rhythm only she could hear. Her tail feathers spread and her chest expanded beneath her glistening black throat.
Cara became a thing of great beauty and might.
Clarence looked away abashed. "Aww muuuuum, don't do that in public pleeassseee".
Colin raised himself to full stature and demanded, "Cara Chandni Crow, is Clarence my son or is he the product of another's game?"
For a few moments longer, Cara continued her dance, then gradually settled her feathers and stood as close to Colin as she could. Making small, almost mewling sounds, she began to tickle him under the beak with her own rather prominent feature.
"Stop that now and answer me!" squawked Colin. Cara took a step away.
"Clarence IS your son Colin - but I admit it was nearly not the case. That smooth-flyer Clive came over one day and started on with all his flashy capering and because you had been rather withdrawn and - well, let's face it - inattentive for some time, I found his company rather fun. Then I noticed he was spending way too much time with the youngsters on the ashram and leading them astray with all that dive-bombing and such. I realised he had used me just to gain a foothold on the territory. That was about the time you got over yourself and began being a proper mate again."
Clarence was cringing and attempting to turn so as to take off from this confession scene. Colin called out "You just stay where you are young man!"
Colin then turned and spoke to his mate. "Cara, you are the only crow for me. There is no other. Despite his sillyness and slobiness, I also love Clarence. This has been a wake up call for us all I think you will agree. Cara, will you promise me that you will never bring up the name of Clive again?" Cara eagerly nodded. "Clarence, do you promise not to keep his company or that of any of the other hoons here-abouts? " Clarence, a little reluctantly, nodded also.
"Then you come with me now and I will initiate you into tail-tagging the eagles. Is that a deal?"
Clarence's head popped up. Dad teaching him what the others would not. Of course it was a deal!
Balance and normality was restored to the fencinnade.
©Yamini Ali MacLean 2013
Hope you enjoyed these silly little capers. Prompted purely from watching the crow family right outside my room window at Sandeepany. It was the same family every day; they are very territorial and full of character. Several of the events mentioned are true. Including having 'Clarence' land in my arms!