Day 347: The Lazy Crow

The Lazy Crow
Matt Zurbo


Maggie was a magician.
(Small girl in magician’s clothes, pulling a rabbit from her hat. Crow standing on ground behind her.)

Mostly, she worked kid’s birthdays. But she dreamed of something more. “I want power…!” she told her friends, Claude the Crow, Miss Oink, and Sol, who was the sun.  
(Girl having a tea party on blanket in park, next to park bench, with pig/doll, crow and sun – with face in it – behind them.)

“Not to abuse it, or even use it. Just to know I’m up there, amongst the greats!” she said.
(Girl walking through field, arms wide, dragging pig doll, crow hopping behind her, sun in sky.)

At the market, Maggie would do her act.
(Girl, surrounded by people, looking nervous. Her hat beside her, the crow on the ground.)

Adults would make her nervous. Her magic often started spraying off kilt.
(Maggie, hand recoiling, as octopus starts coming out of hat, not rabbit, which is running away.)

People would laugh, or get angry. In a panic, Maggie would announce; “My magic crow…”
(Maggie on left, fingers touching in front of chest, leaning away, looking nervous. Crowd either angry with squids or octopi on their heads, or laughing, pointing at her while holding bellies. Crow hopping, unseen, between them.)

“Yeah, sure…!” the crowd would gather.
(Crow on ground, looking at a wall of angry, amused, and mostly sour, impatient faces.)

And Claude would call.
“CRAW… craw… crawwwwwww…”
(Bird calling…)

A call so slow, and lazy, everybody would chill out!
(Girl standing there, everybody is laying down, relaxed, leaning into each other, sleeping, etc…)

“It’s unreal…” Maggie whispered to Miss Oink. “His call reminds them of lazy days in hammocks, of tin roofs in the sun…
(Girl lazing, head propped up against one of the crowd, holding pig doll up enough to talk to it. Sub is in background, the face in it sleeping, too.)

“Days without end…”
“CRAW… craw… crawwwwwwww…”
(Girl, doll and sun under an outback tree, fishing line in a billabong.)

“And the bush.”
“CRAW… craw… crawwwwwwww…”
(The fur of them hanging out on, or over a raft in a damn. Girl is ling on belly, arm dangling in water.)

“You’re a very handy animal to have around!” Maggie would say.
(Maggie walking away from sleeping, lazing, mellow crowd, with Miss Oink, crow hopping behind.)

One day Maggie decided to research Claude. “It’s all very impressive, Miss Oink,” she said.
(Girl, doll under arm, crow on shoulder, hat on its top on ground behind her, next to small stand with small pile of magic books. Girl is wide-eyed, reading a book on mythology. It has a crow on the cover.)

“It turns out crows have, throughout time, been on the battlefields, eating the dead,” Maggie read.
(Girl reading book, while around them is a suitable medieval post battle, with crow eating.)

(Girl’s face wincing, tongue out.)

“But, through that, legend started. Crows became were a sign, of oncoming doom!”
(Vikings looking nervous as they watch flying crow.)

“They gave advice to Gods!”
(Angry Odin, a crow on either shoulder, wind blowing, lightening brewing, one crow is talking into his ear…)

(Girl sitting on ground, looking up, imagining thins with a smile, while books on stand she is resting against fall into her upturned hat.)

(Ancient gods and fables and knights, all laced with giant crows and ravins, start growing, with mist, from girl’s magician’s hat, rising above her. She had crow on palm, is watching the crow, on her palm, not noticing.)

Look out!
(Girl leaping back as gods tumble out of hat, bumping into each other, getting angry. Giant, mythical crows all flying away. Only her crow remains, on ground, unnoticed.)

“Nonono…!” Maggie wailed.
(Gods and mythical creatures angry, facing each other off.)

“I’m sorry Mum and Dad…”Maggie ducked and preyed.
(Gods have their arms and lightening bolts and weapons in the air, charged, ready to battle, as Maggie ducks under a park bench, crow still standing on ground beside pig doll.)

Then, Claude stepped up!
(Crow hopping along table. Gods bending to stare wide-eyed at it.)

“CRAW… craw… crawwwwwww…”
(Crow calling, everybody looking relieved, mellow.)

(Double page. Girl sitting on picnic blanket, sipping tea from toy cup with a Buddha. Odin is lazily kicking back on the park table, raising the smallest cup, pinky finger in air, to lips. Crow standing on picnic basket handle.)

“What a gift,” Maggie sighed. 
(Girl, tea cup in hand, smiling, watching crow eat from picnic basket.)

“I guess there’s more than one kind of power…” she said.
(Crow standing on girl’s palm. Crow and girl facing each other. Girl is smiling.)



The End.



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