The fledling landed on the soft fresh grass at the edge of a riverbank. Hop. Hop. It glanced to the left and then to the right with a quick and sudden motion expecting to see another crow, but it was alone. Extending its neck, the crow listened, but the air did not rustle the leaves, or carry messages. It sat with the crow still and silent, providing not one loving caress or the offer a warm embrace. Like the crow, It was just there.
The crow then leaned over a little embankment and fixed its gaze at the water that gently flowed by but all it could see was a reflection of the stillness. The crow spent the morning waiting and listening. Waiting and looking. Waiting and pacing. Waiting for another crow, a breeze, a sound, but there was nothing. Hop. Hop. It bounced. Hop. Hop. It flew, landing on the highest branch of the closest tree to get a better perspective.
Clouds filled the breathless air. The crow could not see or hear what it wanted to know. From the treetop perch, it watched the leaves and flowers gently being guided by the river's current. Little twigs bobbled in and out of the water, and the sun painted the rocks below the surface in glistening gold, bringing the river to life. With every blink of the eye, there was change. Yellow flowers replaced pink ones that replace white ones. Big bare twigs, straw-like twigs, twigs with little leaves; the river never offered the same view twice.
Although able to see the beauty of the river, from the tree, the crow feeling detached and merely a spectator, unable to grasp the experience or truly connect launched into the air. Caw. Caw. Caw. It called out. Caw. Caw. It pulled its wings in tight as it landed on the little moist pebbles that lined the river. Hop. Hop. It looked around again.
The crow hopped closer and closer to water's edge. Little puddles enveloped its feet as they sunk in the clay-like sand. Hop. Hop. Stretching its wings, the crow pulled itself free and landed on a flat rock. It's left foot plopped in the water; the crow allowed for the coolness to settle in. Delighted by experiencing something new, it relished in its control and played with redirecting the river's path. It stepped down, now with both foot in, it stared down at its larger than life feet, mesmerized.
A log drifted past the crow. The sound of the water lapping against the bark called out, and the crow listened. Tap tap, tap, tap. Allowing the now late afternoon sun to warm its feathers it took to the air and circled over the water before landing on the log. Hop. Hop. The log rolled. Hop. Hop. The crow found its balance and stood firm.
The breeze lightly tickled the crow but it did not hop again. Although tempted to lean over perhaps to pluck out a little unsuspecting fish for dinner he refrained. When the desire called out to watch itself in the rolling reflection of the river, the crow did not listen; instead, it looked only at the passing landscape. There were hills, and trees, a city, and a mountain. But none called to the crow loud enough to draw it away from the log.
The wind began to whistle, and the air was now no longer still.
The log moved quickly, bouncing, dodging boulders. The crow stood stable and silent. The wind began to roar, and the mist from the river gathered like dots of dew on the crow's feathers. But the crow did not waiver or shake; it stood still watching in delight, every turn of the river unfolded a new scene, a new light, a new adventure.