I thought my neighborhood squirrels were tough

Sunday, September 21st 2008, 7:11 pm
By: News 9

By Christian Price, News9.com INsite Team

I used to think my neighborhood squirrels were the toughest urban wildlife around until I witnessed ‘Scrappy' the crow.

I had to go somewhere for lunch the other day, so I ventured to a plaza by my house to graze. While waiting in line at the drive-thru, I saw the coolest bird I have ever seen.

There was a murder of crows fighting over a hamburger that someone had dropped in the plaza's parking lot. The birds were screeching at each other trying to scare the others away and claim the feast for themselves.

As I was watching the un-caged cage fight, a crow came sweeping down out of nowhere. All the other crows seemed to recognize this formidable adversary and, for a moment, all fighting ceased.

A crow feeling froggy stepped out of the circle towards the burger. Several crows watching started bristling and squawking at the crow and they themselves started towards the burger.

It was at this time my attention went back to the crow that had just landed out of the sky. He was just standing there watching as if he was afraid to compete for the prize. While focused on the lone bird, I noticed that he only had one foot. He had two legs, but only one foot. I instantly felt sorry for him.

"What in the world happened to him," I thought to myself. "No wonder he's not fighting for the food. He can't."

It was like the crow read my thoughts. As I sat in my car watching, the one legged bird started to strut towards the burger. The other crows, which by now were dancing about the sandwich and had forgotten their one-legged brethren, noticed the bird strutting towards them.

The circle disbanded all save four. Nervously, the four arranged themselves in a row side by side in front of the found dinner.

The one-legged crow never broke his stride towards the crows. At one moment, they actually took a couple of steps backwards while screeching warnings at the oncoming gladiator.

Without warning, the lone crow raised his wings upward and with one thrust, jumped into the air about three feet and landed on the closest crow.

With the leg that had a foot, he stood on top of the crow he landed on causing it to lay on the pavement. He then used his footless leg to stab the crow beneath him in the face. After a couple of seconds of jabs that seemed to come from both the left and the right, the one legged crow decided that his enemy had had enough, so he jumped off of him. Immediately, the crow that had just been pummeled flew away never getting even a bite of the burger bun.

By this time, what were once four stood only one. (It was at this moment I swear I heard that ring announcer screaming, "Let's get ready to rumble!")

The crow that was left by himself glanced around as if he was wondering, "Hey, where did everybody go?"

Back in full stride, the one-legged fighting machine had a line straight at the deserted crow. Again the crow lifted his wings towards the sky and jumped, but this time the attack was different.

Just like Bruce Lee in "Enter the Dragon", the air born crow raised the footless leg and drove it into the opposing crow's neck. In an instant, the crow knew he had been beat, so conceding the battle, he flew away just like all the others.

The winning fighter stood on top of the burger as if asking, "Anyone else?" It was at this moment I felt to name the crow Scrappy. I honestly couldn't believe what I had just witnessed. I have never seen such an event. This was so much better than anything on T.V.

Now, every time I venture to that plaza to get something to eat, I always keep an eye out for Scrappy. I've seen him several times in the middle of a battle. There have also been several times I've seen him standing by himself, eating French fries or buns. No matter what the case maybe, I make sure that if I do see Scrappy, I toss him something from my lunch.