The crow flew west, lifted by a light breeze. From high in the sky, he viewed barren fields, a dusting of snow in shaded glens, a skim of ice on the river. His sharp eyes noticed a running fox and in the distance, cars speeding on the highway.

The moist air carried the promise of snow, maybe even a blizzard. Circling a stand of trees, the crow landed on a high branch and shook his wings. His ears picked up the calls of forest animals, one to another. “Snow?” “Yes, snow. Tonight, from the North.”

He observed deer taking shelter in a cedar grove, a family of squirrels crowding into a hollow tree. The crow knew he could shelter in an evergreen tree, but he hoped to find a warmer place than the forest. He took flight knowing that he could return if he didn’t find any place better.

An older farmhouse with an attached barn quickly caught his eye. The house and barn needed paint and the rusty tractor in the yard hadn’t been run in a long time. The crow flew to the top of the barn and noticed a missing pane of glass in the window near the peak of the roof. He looked inside and seeing it was safe, flew in.

Except for a few mice, animals hadn’t lived in the barn for many years. The scent of horses and cows lingered. Oats and cracked corn remained scattered on the dirt floor and in dusty corners. Best of all, the loft overflowed with things the people who lived in the house no longer wanted.

The crow wasn’t interested in the boxes of books or the broken tools. He didn’t care for the rag tag couch, but he found a floor lamp to perch on and a tin of shiny buttons. The late afternoon light glinted on the buttons and the crow admired them.

Then he noticed a crow watching him from the other side of the loft. He cautiously hopped across the floor toward the other crow. “Caw, caw!” He looked at the crow and spread his wings. The other crow spread his wings, too. It would be nice to have a friend and this one seemed amiable.

He hopped backwards. So did the other crow.

He pecked the floor and the other crow did exactly the same.

He flew to the top of the barn and landed on a beam, hoping the other crow would follow, but he didn’t. He flew back down and the crow was still standing where he’d left him. Perhaps the other crow couldn’t fly.

Outside the wind howled and snow poured like sugar from a shaker. It was time to sleep and the crow perched on the floor lamp. He noticed the other crow had disappeared from view and wondered where he’d gone. He cawed good night and fell into a deep sleep.

The following morning, the crow hunted for grain and whatever else he could find to eat in the barn. Fearing his friend might not be as able to hunt for food, he carried him some cracked corn he’d found. Sure enough, his friend was exactly where he’d found him the day before. He put the corn front of his friend and stood, waiting. His friend stood, staring at him.

“Caw!” the crow cried, but his friend didn’t hear, because he cawed at the same time.

The crow grew impatient and stepped closer until his beak was almost touching the other crow. He moved one step closer and reached forward with his beak. He touched something hard and cold, not another crow at all!

He was standing in front of glass, but not the kind he could look through. He moved to one side and the other, hopped, twirled and watched as the crow in the mirror did the same. “I’m seeing myself!” he realized.

“I’m a handsome crow,” the crow thought, pleased with how he looked in the mirror. But continuing his journey when the blizzard ended, he still wished for a crow friend to travel with him.

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