Monday, April 30, 2007


This is Bran (pronounced Brawn). Bran first started coming around a couple of years ago. During that particular winter I would leave dead mice caught in the barn traps out on the crust of snow for the ravens to come and "dispose" of. One of them started coming closer and closer to the barn

Before I knew it, we were trying to hold conversations with each other. Yes, Bran was trying to teach me how to speak Raven.

Although he won't take treats out of my hand...yet, Bran will get within six feet of me and attempt to teach me new phrases once and a while. I have actually noticed different inflections and tones in the way he'll speak to me. When I talk to him, he will cock his head and try to answer me.

It's probably no more than a "Hey, Silly...I can't understand a thing you say!" or "Forget trying to talk...where the heck is the food?" Each day I try to leave him something both morning and evenings. It may be nothing more than an animal cookie, but he accepts each offering with grace and a "Gwak!", which I can only assume is "Thank you" in Raven-speak. On occasion I will leave him an egg from the chickens. It may be a dirty egg or one that's been cracked. Giving them to Bran has been way more fun than placing the bad eggs in the compost pile. Usually, Bran will bury the egg somewhere close by. An amazing thing about ravens is the they will remember exactly where they bury their "caches". I have seen him dig through inches of snow, then frozen dirt, and come up with whatever he buried in that particulr place. I wish I had that recall ability. :-)

If you're wondering where I got the name Bran from, it's the name of a Celtic god who took the form of a raven whenever he appeared. My DH thought I must have gone off the deep end when he heard me talking to someone out by the barn.
Oh, he knew I talked to the chickens and sheep as if they could answer me, but occasionally he would notice that I was talking to no one in particular. The only other creature around would be a crow sitting on the roof of the barn. I had to explain to him that the "crow" was the one I was talking to.
This year I have found that Bran comes much more often to the barn. I can hear him in the trees around the neighborhood and no sooner do I head for the barn than he appears. Even if I am just pulling weeds or watering the garden, he'll be somewhere close watching me and repeating the same vocabulary he's teaching me at that time. The only mischievous behavior he's shown was just this past weekend when he tried to rearrange the garbage bag in the back of my DH's truck...and I believe he brought friends to help him with that particular project.

In any case, he's become almost like one of the family. I'm glad to see him when I happen to look up from what I'm doing. He warns me of hawks and eagles, even the odd coyote out for a mid-day hunt. But the craziest thing he's done is stand on the roof of our cats' vet's mobile van and try to get in the vent to see what I was doing in that thing. I felt like Edgar Allen Poe.

"As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door...
Only this and nothing more"

Thanks for looking out for me, Bran.


Leigh said...

This is too cool. Bran sounds like a very handy fellow to have around, albeit a mischievous one!

Tina T-P said...

Love it, love it, love it! Crows are just my favorite birds - but I've never gotten one to be a friend before - how fun! T.

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

I'd like to have my own "guardian raven"
Got a spare?

melanie said...

Nice to know that other people talk to their animals like they can answer DH thinks I'm nuts, but has learned to live with it....

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

How nice to "meet" Bran after you've told me about him!

Val said...

I well remember Bran from when we were over, but what is more of a coincidence it that we were only tlaking about him the day you wrote this. There was an article in the NZ Herald about how intelligent the raven is with which I tend to agree

Kathy L. said...

YAY!!! Val, it's good to see your comment! (Along with everyone else!) Val is my daughter's mother-in-law and part of our family - as well as my very dear friend!

Yes, Bran says hello. This morning he brought either his other-half or one of his mates to visit. We had quite the conversation going!
So just be ready to help talk to him when you're here. ;-)

Lauren said...

Ravens and crows are very smart. I love that he has become your buddy and attempts to communicate with you. I want a Bran, too! Great name, by the way, and a very enjoyable post.

sheperdchik said...

Honestly Kathy - I was only gone for a week and you've gone to the birds while I was away! I'm teasing. That looks interesting. You should videotape him sometime.

Tina T-P said...

Nice to chat with you tonight - I decided that you and Michelle were worthy of the Thinking Blogger Award - check here for more info:
XOX tina