Flash fiction: The City Crow’s Fine Dining Guide

Author’s note: In preparation for NaNoWriMo 2009, someone put up daily prompts on one of the forums. I did them in the spirit of warm-ups, but some of them turned into stories. Here is one such, from 10/9/2009.

Prompt:  Roar! Write a 300 words story from the perspective of an animal.

The sky is over us, and the treetops reach into it.  That’s the place we settle to talk it over.  From there we can see all the good bits, and the pigeons don’t come up there to bother us.  Then there’s the grass, where we stroll to discuss matters of importance, and occasionally spot tasty bits.  The fat chittering squirrels will contest the occasional dropped roll—well, we get them, when a car hits them.  Squirrels are incredibly stupid, which is unsurprising in something that’s basically food on the hoof.  That’s why they turn up in roadkill, also known as free lunch.

Then there’s the humans.  They’re an odd sort of monkey, all wrapped in extra skins, sort of the crow of the primate world.  They’ll eat damn near anything—after all, it’s their leftovers that feed the rather degenerate local squirrels, that have gotten so tame that they’ll follow the odd pedestrian in search of a bagel or cookie or candy bar.  And here, in this quadrangle formed by the buildings, with no cars to interfere, the humans even feed the bloody things.  Shame we haven’t figured out how to tame them like that—it would make them ever so much easier to catch.  No, better to wait for cars to get them.  Of course, then there’s the tricky bit of eating while not getting hit yourself.  Grab a bit of the juicy red bits, then beat your wings to rise out of the way of the rolling metal death.  Bloody inconvenient, though the wires running over the roadway occasionally drop a free squirrel onto the pavement, which then gets run over.  You have to eat it, though, before the passing cars squash it too flat and dirty to be worth picking at.

Tricky thing, being a city crow.  Sometimes we like to retire to the trees by the river and reminisce about the good old days when all you had to do was follow the lines of march.  Of course, nothing’s perfect.  Even in those days, you still had to share the pickings with wolves.

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6 Responses to Flash fiction: The City Crow’s Fine Dining Guide

  1. Sue says:

    😀 for one of my writing classes I wrote a story from the perspective of a mouse caught in a trap. I don’t remember what the lesson was for specifically, but the prof had written a story from the point of view of a ground hog. These exercises are good to get the brain thinking in a different gear. Actually one of the people on SSS (usually) writes from the point of view of a collie. thanks for the chuckle. I’m editing a paper on JK Rowling and it’s bogging down

  2. epbeaumont says:

    I got introduced to the seductions of nonhuman POV early, at age seven, with a book written POV a redwood tree.

    What kind of paper are you editing about J. K. Rowling? She’s really interesting. I have learned a lot from her.

  3. Becca says:

    Interesting perspective on the world. It’s an interesting exercise to think about the alien perspective present in the world we already live in.

  4. Jean Lamb says:

    I should write from the pov of the seagulls who have gang wars over the possession of the McDonald’s parking lot…(we’re inland and we still have seagulls. Nope, not the Great Salt Lake, but Klamath Falls, where we have a really large, shallow lake, brown hills, but _not_ the seventeen billion brine flies that the Great Salt Lake have. We have pillars of little green midges instead, or as we call them, ‘flying algae’).

    • epbeaumont says:

      Seagulls are serious drama queens. Their point of view would be incredibly entertaining.

      The thing that I learned from reading biology is that every species thinks that it’s What It’s All About. The little green midges (did they theologize) would have a thorough explanation of how the Great Midge had arranged all things in their favor…

      Flying algae is an image to conjure with.

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