I think in no other part of the world so much importance given to the crows as we do in our state.(Tamilnadu, a southern state of India). Peacock is our National bird. But crows are our friends.. The first story told to our children by their parents is the story of a crow and fox , for many generations and now too.
The story goes like this.A crow stole a vadai ( a round shaped dish) from a vendor. It flew away with that vadai in its mouth, to a near by tree and wanted to eat it. It was about to eat it. A hungry fox passing by, wanted to have that vadai and thought over a plan.
“ Oh my crow you are so beautiful! So your voice must also be sweet! Please sing me a song!’ Fox requested.
The crow yielded to this flattery and opened its mouth to sing. The vadai fell down. The clever fox picked it up and ran away.
Two morals are taught by this story. “Don’t cheat anybody. If you cheat you will be cheated” “ Don’t yield to flatterys!”
In another story, a thirsty crow saw a jug of water. It could not drink the water because the neck of the jug was very narrow. The crow could not tilt the jug because it was heavy. After a moment of thinking, it got an idea. It picked some pebbles around and put them into the jar. Now the water level raised and the crow was able quest its thirst. By this story it is emphasized that only intelligence and hard work will help during the hour of need.
We are having so many superstitions regarding the crows. It is believed that if a crow is cawing from the roof a house continuously, definitely a guest will visit that house during that day! If a crow strikes your head it is a bad omen! Our people believe that crows are representatives of our ancestors. So it is the duty of us to feed them. People will put a hand full of food to the crows before every meal and especially before lunch. During religious ceremonies we have to feed the crows. It is an unwritten law! In our astrology crow is the carrier of the black planet Saturn .So it is also worshipped to pacify Saturn .
Crows are always pointed out as examples by the elders. They used to advise the youngsters “ See the crows.How they are united. Learn from them”
“For the crow its chick is golden chick” (Kaakkaikku than kunju pon kunju) is a famous proverb in our language(Tamil) , which means children are dearer and peerless to their mothers, even though others have a different look about those children!
In our Hindu mythology Lord Krishna is black in colour. So in one of his greatest poems, poet Bharathiyar says “In the wings of the crow Oh Krishna your black color appears!”
If anybody woos his boss or somebody to get some favour our people used to say”See that fellow. He is “crow catching” (Kakka pitikkiran)
Crows are called as sky scavengers. But they are not scavengers only. Sometimes they act as watchmen too. If they find any intruders like monkeys or snakes ,they will make continuous shouting and alert us.
Nowadays due to changing circumstances crows are very rare to see in cities. But in the villages we love them and they too love us.
Mary Craig from New York on February 22, 2013:
This was very interesting to me. Living in the States I do not know about your Hindu customs and certainly didn't know about your reverence for the crow! Thank you for teaching me.
Voted up, useful, and interesting.