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Caw Caw Crow

The ambiguity of Caw Caw in the story seen through the lens of science, myth, and everyday observations.


Did Caw Caw Crow hide Charlotte’s water bottle?

There are hints throughout the story that suggests Caw Caw may have been more sinister than he first appeared to be.


He noticed the pink band as he stared at Charlotte drinking from her water bottle. Later when it went missing, he was anxious to get out of his cage so he could find it with his sharp seeing eyes.


In the final image in the story, closing his eyes for the night, did he escape his cage to retrieve the water bottle, and have it hidden in his nest where it would be splendid for all to see?


Is Caw Caw’s presence a reminder of grief? Did Charlotte embrace Mr. Wise Owl’s admonition?


What traits would make this possible?

Crows are smart with large brains. They have the largest brain to body ratio of any bird. The scientific name of the crow is “Corvus”. Ravens and rooks belong to this genus, also.


Crows can craft tools. The New Caledonian crow is only one of four species that can do this, along with humans, orangutans, and chimpanzees.


Their nests are sturdy with twigs on the outside and soft enough on the inside so nothing pricks the tender skin of the hatchlings. In a completed nest, substances of human origin such as fabric, string, hair wool shavings and bits of plastic might coexist with natural substances, such as  bark, moss and plant fibers.

Crows are social, gather in flocks and signal each other. They have facial recognition.

Ravens and Crows
in literature

Crows and ravens are two species of corvids. Ravens are generally larger than crows and tend to travel in a pair with their mate.  Crows and ravens share  similar meanings in cultural mythology.


The popular Aesop’s fable, The Crow and the Pitcher, is  about a crow in the desert who’s thirsty. His beak is not long enough to access the water in the pitcher, so he innovates and starts putting pebbles in the pitcher of water. Eventually, the pebbles displace the water at the bottom, pushing the liquid up to a level where he can drink. The spirit of the crow reminds us to leverage our wits, and look at the challenge from a different perspective. 


 In The Raven,  Edgar Allen Poe’s classic poem, the Raven represents the speaker’s unending grief over the loss of Lenore as he repeats the phrase, “nevermore”. Ravens have a connotation of death as the speaker notes when he refers to the bird as coming from “Nights Plutonian Shore”, or the underworld. 

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