This story is dedicated to the kindest, most generous legend we ever had the pleasure of knowing.
DOUGMAL Doug Malouf
7 June 1939 – 12 June 2021
Once upon a time…
Crows had bright purple feathers. Crows have always been highly intelligent birds with excellent memories and an eye for detail. The crows in our story live in the countryside where there is ample wheat from surrounding farms and plenty of rodents to keep their bellies full. Life is so good for the crows that they even look after their blind brother. Viewed as spiritual messengers, honour among the purple murder is paramount.
Stavros, a local wheat and vege farmer, despised the crows with every ounce of his being. Every time he heard their calls, he would run at the birds shaking his fist and yelling obscenities. One day after harvesting the biggest, gnarliest pumpkin of the season, Stavros decided to create the most sinister and grotesque-looking scarecrow he could imagine to frighten the crows off once and for all. He completed his creation’s ensemble with a long red and black striped scarf and a cackle to rival any crow “Mwahahahaaaaaa!”
The work wasn’t difficult but it was incredibly isolated and lonely. Comfortless days and nights passed by with no one to talk to. The only thing Scarecrow could do was look at the birds from afar. Desperate for a friend, each time they flew by he would energetically wave at them. But they only flew away as if they were afraid. The wind seemed to be the only partner who cherished Scarecrow’s solitude. Constantly immersed in the eternally empty hours, watching the blades on the mills go around and around, Scarecrow listened to the wheat fields murmur and sway like golden seas.
One day Scarecrow felt so forsaken, he did something forbidden. He offered the crows some seed, but they screeched in fear and fled to the sky in a whirlwind of purple feathers. Scarecrow was miserable. He wondered why nobody wanted to be his friend. With every ounce of his big pumpkin head, he craved contact with the crows so he continued performing small acts of kindness every day, in the hope of one day catching their attention.
As winter set in, the weather became squally. One particularly cold and blustery night, a blind crow fell at Scarcrow’s feet. The crow was shivering and desperately hungry. Scarecrow immediately wrapped the bird up in his scarf and took care of him. He gave him seed to eat and after several days the blind crow was better and ready to take to the skies once again. Before the crow departed, Scarecrow asked why birds never wanted to be friends with scarecrows. The crow explained that the job of the scarecrows is to scare the poor birds. “They are evil and despicable monsters. They fulfill that for which they were created.”
Scarecrow was shocked “That’s not true” he pleaded, “I’m not evil and I’m a Scarecrow”.
The blind crow shrieked in terror and quickly flew away. Once again, Scarecrow was alone, empty and deserted with no friends. He lamented at being created just as the blind crow described, with the sole function of scaring away all animals, especially crows. He was condemned to live in eternal solitude, governed by the cycles of the crop, and the guidelines of men.
“This is too much to bear” he decided “I don’t want to frighten birds. I will just have to tell the farmer I need another job”. So he made his way to the farmhouse where the farmer was sleeping. Terrified to see a talking scarecrow, the farmer fled and woke up all the surrounding neighbours. He announced to the village that somehow the scarecrow had come alive and that it could only be the work of a demon.
Out on the edge of the field, Scarecrow first heard a commotion. Then he saw fire torches and pitchforks as the angry mob drew closer. Frantically looking around, there was only one place he could go. He ran into the windmill for safety and up the winding stairs. The mob became violent and torched the mill – rakes and pitchforks pumping at the towering inferno. Scarecrow screamed, but no one cared.
The crows flew overhead to witness the commotion. One of them was the blind crow. His feathered brothers explained that the villagers were burning the windmill where a scarecrow with a very long scarf was trying to hide. The blind crow told them he was a good scarecrow who saved his life. Moved by the story, the fiercely protective crows vowed to save Scarecrow… but it was too late. The entire windmill was roaring in flames and the villagers had begun to disperse.
The crows waited until dawn for the embers to die down. They searched the remains of the windmill and gathered the ashes of our kind scarecrow. Up on high, they scattered the ashes through the air. The wind carried Scarecrow’s ashes across the land. At last he was flying side-by-side with all the birds. In this way, Scarecrow would never again have to be alone.
In memory of the tragic death of Scarecrow, the blind crow and all his friends decided to dress in mourning. Crows are a symbol of transformation. They are a symbol of change that is required. Since that day, all crows are black – acknowledging the generosity of he who always wanted to be their friend.
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
― John Holmes
Moral of the Story:
There are times when we feel “pinned” to our lonely wheatfields. We act nobly whenever possible, and give our hearts a voice without our acts of generosity being recognised. We may strive daily to truly make things better for others, not for show or for some ulterior motive. Noble actions are linked to a sincere heart that does not know how to beat otherwise. In the beginning, Scarecrow is not even aware of his purpose. He is limited to rising up tall and handsome every morning, outside in his field, watching the hours go by. It’s as if he is not a part of the mechanism based on scaring off crows. This is how we can feel at some point in our life cycle. We think that our path is clear, that what surrounds us defines us, and even come to accept and resign ourselves to the sorrows and disappointments along the way.
There always comes a time when we are so constricted by life that we are forced to act. Our scarecrow gets out of his comfort zone when the crow helps him see the real purpose for which he was created. He reacts by rebelling. He escapes from the wheatfields and asks his master for another job. We too are compelled to cross limits and break the molds that others (and society itself) have created for us. Just like the scarecrow, we choose to pull up our roots, without ever losing our essence, our nobility, and our generosity. Crows are a special omen. They can show up when you experience a sudden shift, upheaval, internal and external chaos that will lead to a spiritual awakening and internal revelation of self. Crows are thought to mourn the dead. They will appear when you are experiencing the separation of a loved one who either passed away or ended a relationship. They show up to offer comfort, and to help you move through the grieving process. All endings contain the seed of new beginnings. And so the cycle goes on.
“True generosity is an offering; given freely out of pure love. No strings attached. No expectations.”
– Suze Orman
Affirmation: Through radical generosity we are awakening.
Every minute of every hour of every day I am making the world just as I am making myself, and I choose to make it with generosity and kindness, in epic style. With generosity and gratitude, anything is possible. I know my kindness can eventually accomplish greatness because every act creates a ripple with no logical end. My generosity and kindness are manifestations of my own strength and resolution. My love of money is based on gratitude and generosity. I know the best way to find myself, is to lose myself in the service of others. Consistent, simple generosity proves the abundance of a true, deep, and loving heart. The more I give; the more I receive. I deserve a truly abundant and prosperous life. Money is a tool that can change life for the better. My intent is to be generous of spirit and live with total integrity every day of my life. Through thoughtful generosity, unlimited opportunities open up for me. My generosity has the capacity to change someone else’s life forever.
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
– Albert Pike