Counting Crows


Chapter 3


Between the day that I was laid lovingly upon the hearth of my grandmother’s home, and the day that I reached 1 year, 7 months and 22 days old, not much of note occurred in my life. However, on that 601st day of my life, my “Baby” brother was born. At that very same instant, my “Little” brother was also born. Additionally, in an event as singularly anomalous as the Sun, Moon, Mars and Venus being in exact alignment, my “Only” brother was born as well. “Baby” and “Only” still tread this mortal coil, but “Little” does not. I don’t know where he went nor if he’ll return soon or ever, but for now he is gone. Let us observe a moment of silence while we Count Crows.

One for sorrow, Two for joy

Three for a girl, Four for a boy

Five for silver, Six for gold

Seven for a secret never to be told.

That being said, when my brother was my Baby brother, my mother took him to Dr. Patterson’s office for a check-up—or maybe he had a cold, I can’t accurately recall the exact reason for the visit. Mom toted Baby brother up the steps and through the screen door that opened to the little office attached adventitiously to the back of the doctor’s ante-bellum home.

After she’d signed in, she made herself as comfortable as she could with a squirmy Baby boy being held lovingly in her arms. The nurse approached and began speaking to the tiny tot in Motherese—a language in which all women are born fluent, I think. The nurse tickled and he giggled and wiggled. She cooed and he smiled and cooed back at her. “Such a beautiful sweet baby you have here Mrs. Brown. At that moment, the blanket over the top of Baby brother’s head, fell away. “But oh my Mrs. Brown!”, she croaked in a distress-tinged voice, as she stepped awkwardly backwards, “His head is so big!” Her amazement was hardly contained by her crisp, white professionalism. Mother simply smiled a weary smile and replied, “Yes I know, but you should see the one I have at home”.

I read a study [I started reading early] that suggested that there is a correlation between having a big head and having a big brain, which in my case, would be a good thing. I mean, there has to be some benefit to possessing such a noggin as mine, right? There has to be a reason other than having one hell-of-a convenient hat rack at my disposal [Gramp used to say, “Use your head for more than a hat rack boy!].

I found out later in life that not everyone with a big head has a big brain. Several big-headed acquaintances “didn’t have sense enough to pour piss out of a boot” [another of Gramp’s sayings]. A big head does not necessarily equate to a big brain. I also learned that some heads are mostly bone, some are mostly muscle, and some people’s heads are just fat. We affectionately called those people fatheads.

So, does the combination of a big head AND a big brain, in the same individual, equate to a big intellect? No, not necessarily, neither does a smaller brain and smaller head equate to lesser intellect. Albert Einstein’s brain was of average size, but we all know that his intellect was gargantuan. From these observations, it may be surmised that neither head size nor brain size are reliable indicators of smartness in humans, but when comparing humans to other species, the ratio of brain size to body size is key. Generally speaking, humans have a bigger brain to body ratio than any animal on earth. However, humans have competition in the Crow!

Crows have the biggest brain to body ratio among all bird species. Crows evolved with a highly-developed fore-brain. The fore-brain is where intelligence is regulated. The anatomy of the crow brain is much similar to humans’. In contrast, the world’s largest bird, the ostrich, has eyes that are bigger than its brain. So, what does this all mean? Ask the 7th Crow.

Come little brother let us now count Crows:

One crow sorrow, Two crow’s mirth,

 Three a wedding, Four a birth,

 Five brings silver, six takes wealth,

 Seven crows a secret, More I can nay telleth.


  1. Sorry for not visiting your blog of late Ron (I’ve been ‘all over the place- figuratively I mean). I love this post for its richness of message.
    A while back I read of a girl living somewhere up in Washington state (I think) who fed the birds in the garden, including the crows, and the crows started to bring her gifts of coloured glass.
    In conclusion I tip my hat to you for the design of this blog; amazing spellbinding.
    Best wishes to you and yours Ron,
    (Ps: I’ll try and catch up)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The stories we shared of our past were beautiful! They were a part of beautiful storytelling, and meant so much to so many. The lessons in them were to learn from the past as you embrace the present and anticipate the future. My hopes are that you enjoyed writing them as much as I enjoyed sharing them.

    Liked by 1 person

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