Why Crows are Poor by Mabel Powers
After the Great Spirit had made the Red Children and had given them this
beautiful land in which to live, he sent them a great gift,—the gift of
Ga gaah, the Crow, claims it was he who brought this gift. He says he
was called to the wigwam of the Great Spirit in the sky. A grain of corn
was placed in his ear, and he was told to carry it to earth, to the Red
Therefore, as Ga gaah brought the gift, he claims he has a right to
pull what corn he needs. Ga gaah says he does not "steal" corn. He
simply takes what belongs to him, his rightful share.
And surely Ga gaah is not greedy! He never takes more corn than he
wants for himself. He never hides or stores it away. He takes just what
he wishes to eat at the time, and no more, for crows never think of
In summer, they are happy in the cornfields, guarding the roots from
insect enemies, and pulling the tender blades whenever they are hungry.
But when winter comes, the crows are sad. Many councils are held.
Sometimes a council tree will be black with crows. All are so poor and
so hungry, that they get together to try to plan a better way to live.
There is much noise and confusion at a crow council, for all the crows
talk at once. All are saying, "No bird is so poor as the crow; he is
always hungry. Next summer, let us plant and raise a big crop of corn,
and gather and save it for the winter. Next winter, crows will not be
hungry; they will have food.
"We will no longer take from the fields of the Red Children just enough
corn for a meal to-day. We will raise our own corn, and lay by a store
for the winter."
And having agreed that this is a wise plan, the council ends.
A few days later, another council will be called. At this, the crows
will plan how and where to plant the corn. Some will be appointed to
select a field, others to find seed, and still others to plant and tend
But, alas! When spring comes, and skies are blue, and the sun shines
warm, the crows forget the hunger of the winter, and the councils in the
tree. They remember only that the skies are blue, and the sun shines
warm, and now there is plenty of corn.
Happy and content, they walk up and down the fields of the Red Children.
"We have all we want to-day," they say, "Why should we think of
to-morrow, or next winter? We had a good meal this morning, and we are
sure of one to-night. Is not this enough for a crow? What more can he
And the next winter comes, and finds the crows as poor and as hungry as
they were the last. Again they are holding noisy councils in the council
tree. Again they are laying plans for the great crop of corn that they
will raise next summer!