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.