How to Fly (Making Friends with Crows #12)

(image courtesy Jo)

The other day, the stars magically aligned (empty house, hour to spare) for a miracle and I had the time and space to jump onto my spin bike.

And it was good. 

Which is nice because it’s not always good; sometimes it’s torture, but this time it was goooood (no, “spin bike” is not a metaphor): I was dialed into my ipod–Radiohead’s There There–turned up loud, wondering how many drums there are and singing along, singing dizzy, taking deep breaths and wailing the notes (because nobody’s listening), beating imaginary drums in the air (nobody’s watching), swinging my arms until my fingertips begin to tingle and elongate like feathers growing, legs pedaling like twin combustion engines and even the sweat felt good, as clean as an ablution, and it all began to liquify and I had to close my eyes because the good was bubbling over. It shot me up and I was floating high.

High. Higher.  Hi!

Hello? Do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched?  Like there’s an invisible antennae on your forehead quivering at attention?

That’s when I opened my eyes and saw them:  Twelve crows sitting on the telephone wire outside my window, watching me.

Watching me like they’ve never watched before.

I wonder what they were looking at.


What song really gets you going?


And because I can’t talk about crows without talking about girls, check out this painfully cute video of an 8-year-old music lover.

About Anna Fonté

Girl in the Hat, aka Anna Fonté, is an author who writes about invisibility, outsider status, everyday monsters, and her attempts to befriend the neighborhood crows. The things she writes want you to look at them.


  1. I counter your hardcore girl with a an extraordinary crow!

  2. snagglewordz

    “High. Higher. Hi!” Loved that transition there. It’s such a weird feeling to realise you are being studied – especially if you are being uninhibited.

  3. snagglewordz

    “I like the way you move” – Body Rockers

  4. “Cross Fire” Brandon Flowers

  5. kb

    I found your site looking for crows. Saw the crow sledding vid. Am an undiscovered air drummer. So I liked your story. I live in Seattle, and there are crows everywhere. Sometimes the crows are mischevious.

    • They are so wiley, are they not? What have you seen them doing? I am always curious about crows.
      Soon, I will try to get more serious and structured about my examination of them but for now, I’m just enjoying their presence.
      Except the other day when one shat on my car because I didn’t go out to feed them in the morning. But I have kids, so I can think that kind of thing is sort of cute.

  6. I wish I knew what the crows are saying, I will admit it sounds like they are scolding me every time I leave the apt bldg. They are a constant presence here in San Francisco. One song I have been obsessed with even before I knew Scott Walker sang it, is “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” What a haunting song, actually I call it a ghost song.

    • That guy speaking with his hands is pretty intense. I wonder what they did to the music to give it that hollow effect. (BTW, if you’re just over the bridge in SF, I’m sure they have the Exegesis at the library. Probably not in South Dakota but in SF, for sure. I recommend it highly.)

  7. I can’t be still when it plays. If I’m alone it isn’t pretty. It’s been my default ringtone for years.

  8. Hmm–Northern California, birds on a wire–won’t your kids look at you in awe when the birds mass for the big attack and there’s, like, a force field around your family, because you’ve treated the crows with respect.

    What really fires me up? “People Who Died” from Jim Carroll, or “Malaguena Salerosa” by Chingon, whoever that is, from Kill Bill Vol. II. I picture the singer as looking like Antonio Banderas with a headful of coke, or after 8 pots of coffee. Over-the-top energy.

    • Serious cool mariachi-rock combo. Makes me want to dance a very rough tango.

    • The Birds was filmed quite close, btw. But the seagulls will kill us for sure, because I can’t stand those guys. (Tee, hee!)

      • As my hard-core-unemployable ex-brother-in-law would eagerly say, “Right on!” (about the gulls and the song). We actually have some gulls around here, not sure if they’re the same species, but they look like seagulls to me; they follow plows in huge flocks in the springtime, digging up worms. I don’t know if they drive out the other birds, or if they’re just way more noticeable than flocks of blackbirds following the plows. And that video you picked was the one I checked out earlier; I love the way the lead guy/guitarist yips along with the singer the 2nd time he hits the extended high note, and the bandmates all get a huge kick out of it.
        And, by the way, you did not just rip South Dakota’s possible lack of library books in another comment reply?
        I’ll have you know that, if there’s enough time in the day after chopping through the ice in the rivers to get water, we do hitch up the horse and buggy and go to the library and find lots a them big books.
        I love the new look of your site, though sometimes all the stories are lined up on the left and sometimes they’re arrayed across the whole page–maybe it’s because Mabel down at the telephone exchange didn’t push the plug in all the way when I connected to wordpress’s internet provider. (I did have dialup till about 2 years ago, and had a rotary phone till about 1990; really sucked ordering pizza when you were impaired.)

        • I thought you might see that little dig, Kevin– I planted it there just for you. Of course, I have no idea what I’m talking about, since I have never been to SD– I drove through a couple times, but didn’t stay. You are like a cultural ambassador, my friend, so you’ll have to clue me in and help me alleviate my load of ignorance. I just can’t imagine many people are interested in the book I was talking about. So if they do have a copy of Philip K. Dick’s Exegesis at your local library, I want to know.
          (I should promise to eat crow if they do, but I’d never do that. Hmmm….Okay, if they do have a copy of the Exegesis, what should I promise? Any ideas?)

          • Your crows and all other promises are safe, if I can believe the internet search I did, because I would have to request that the book be brought up to my local library from Sioux Falls (about an hour away). But I’ll put it on my reading wish list. I have mostly banned myself from the physical library, because I want to wade through a bunch of the books I’ve picked up at yard sales, thrift stores, library surplus book sales, etc. We can order books to be downloaded now to our Nooks or Kindles or whatever, if we have them, from the library, for 4 weeks at a time, just like an actual book. So some things are relatively up-to-date now.
            Those of us who live in Eastern S. D., where the weather is wetter and most of the state’s population is (kinda like every state from N. Dak. to Texas in the middle of the U. S.), think we’re really cosmopolitan compared to “West River” people (anyone in S. D. living west of the Missouri River), and regularly kid them about such things as hauling water from the creek, fighting “hostiles”, barely walking upright, etc.
            My goodness, I need to quit commenting on blogposts and do some other things. Nice talking to you as always!

  9. Is this a tumblr blog? I have one and haven’t quite figured it out yet. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I just edited because I realized it was a bit disjointed.

    • Hi, Virginia– that’s funny because I tried to leave a comment six or seven times and it told me I couldn’t, for some vague reason I can’t remember the wording of [sic]. Glad it went through– hopefully only once? Mine’s on WordPress.

  10. This gets me fired in a different sort of way. More like I want to climb to the top of a mountain to the strain in the singer/speaker’s voice:

    Have you ever seen a hooded crow? They live in the North here, and look like malevolent monks, walking about, and what they are contemplating is some great mystery – to us at any rate.

    • I never would have guessed you liked that music, Schietree– I’m looking at you in a whole new light.
      I have only seen a hooded crow in pictures. I think they are a bit bigger than the crows we have here, a bit more ravenish. I hope to see them one day!

  11. They want to be friends and they probably want some peanuts too :).

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