The Crow Trading Post

Today for Poets United Mid-week Motif. The theme is trade or barter. What fun!

The Crow Trading Post
Two old bachelors up on the wire –
The brown tanager and the mockingbird.
I call them Pete and Repete.
When I whistle the first six notes of the theme
from the XFiles, they whistle it back.
We trade the six notes back and forth.
In the hanging feeder today is a small piece of mica.
I remove it and in its place
I put a bright new penny.
The crow who feeds from this feeder
trades me bit for bit.
I get tiny rocks, a shiny plastic charm,
A peanut, a child’s plastic whistle, sometimes a feather –
he gets in return
sunflower seeds or a bit of something shiny.
Sometimes a small chunk of carrot
or bread or another peanut – we are both satisfied with our items.
Tit for tat.
We trade back and forth.
I am still not sure which one of us comes out ahead.

23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vivian Zems
    May 02, 2018 @ 13:51:05

    I think you’re about even! A very satisfying task😊


  2. Susan
    May 02, 2018 @ 14:21:08

    I enjoyed this so much! It hints at but departs from the tall-tale-ness of Edward Lear’s two old bachelors and gives us the reality of exchange between species. Wow! And the title is wonderful


  3. hypercryptical
    May 02, 2018 @ 14:56:03

    I think you both come out even too.
    I would happily trade with you to share this wonderful encounter/experience.
    I am a little green-eyed with you being so close to nature… :o]
    Anna :o]


  4. Sherry Marr
    May 02, 2018 @ 15:45:12

    This is WONDERFUL! I love that you trade notes back and forth and that the corws repeat them. They are SO smart! And love the exchange of goodies and treats. How very cool. Reminds me of when I owned a store on the ocean years ago, and the big old seagull Charlie who came every mealtime for scraps. Sigh.


  5. oldegg
    May 02, 2018 @ 21:46:27

    It certainly doesn’t matter who comes off best because the interaction is so beautiful.


  6. Rall
    May 02, 2018 @ 21:51:35

    Birds can be such good company.


  7. coalblack
    May 03, 2018 @ 07:43:07

    Yes! I love how crows will bring little gifts to people who feed them consistently. I can just picture this scene! Humans mostly short-change animals and birds by a mile. They can do and sense all kinds of things that we can’t, or that we can’t nearly as well.

    I love that you’re a Toad now, especially cos now i can find your posts on the side bar and not miss any!


    • kanzensakura
      May 03, 2018 @ 13:49:46

      Thank you friend. I too love crows. I had one as a pet when I was a young un. Along with a pet squirrel and raccoon. They were injured and we took care of them. They couldn’t be returned to the wild because of their injuries so they became part of the dog and cat household. I love animals and their intelligence.


  8. thotpurge
    May 03, 2018 @ 07:57:40

    Fabulous interaction with the birds…gladdens the heart!


  9. magicalmysticalteacher
    May 03, 2018 @ 09:08:26

    Both the human and the birds are winners in this exchange. I love how you approached and dealt with the idea of trade/barter. Well done!


  10. Panchali
    May 03, 2018 @ 14:29:29

    Vivian, its terrific! I could feel the ambience all too clearly! Birds demonstrate the infectious power of emotion. Very interesting poem…


  11. annell4
    May 03, 2018 @ 14:57:21

    When it comes to trading with what is “wild,” we always come out ahead, each meeting sacred. I am richer because the crow recognized me, the toeie sang for me, the coyote appeared, each and everyone sacred!


  12. mhmp77
    May 04, 2018 @ 20:17:24


    We trade back and forth.
    I am still not sure which one of us comes out ahead.

    Barter can have the imperfections and difficulties not found in money economy! Very true Toni!



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