The Old Crow

 Once upon a time there was an old crow. It was a struggler, a hopper, and a left-taloned dreamer. It struggled because it was old and had wings that hurt. It was a hopper because of said hurt wings which left it hopping along. And it was a left-taloned dreamer because that was the only talon it had left. As I said, it was an old crow.

    But the crow had vim and vigor.

    It had spice and a quirky way of cocking its head.

    And, sometimes, even when the day seemed bleak, it would lean back its head and caw.

    One day, the old crow saw a mouse on its side with a paw missing. The old crow hopped up to the mouse, and turned it over with its beak. It nudged the mouse into the shelter of a nearby shrub, and stood guard. When the mouse felt strong enough, it watched the old crow, and saw what it was like to be without an appendage. 

    And the old crow watched the mouse come to terms with having a missing paw.

    It watched as the mouse nodded its head to the old crow in thanks — which was all it had to offer.

    It watched as the mouse hopped away.

    Then the crow hopped on its own way as night fell, and it looked up at the stars, and it thought of many things. Of how it could only hop, and not quite well. Of how it could no longer fly, and that the memory of it was bittersweet. And it thought that all the kindness in the world could only come from those who had struggled first.

    As I said, the old crow was a dreamer.

    

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