E has been here since yesterday morning. We’re having fun. I haven’t got the time or energy to blog everything that happened, and part of me is inclined to keep it between us anyway. But something happened today that I had to share.

We were at the Tower of London. I’ve been loads of times, but E had never been, although she’s spent a lot of time in England. If you go to the Tower, there are a lot of ravens. They keep them there because there’s a legend that I think goes back to the time of Charles II in the seventeenth century that if the ravens leave the Tower, then England will fall. I’m not sure if they have their wings clipped, but certainly they don’t really fly. I think they can fly a little bit, but mostly they hop around on their feet (talons).

I was sitting outside on a bench eating one of the home-cooked biscuits my Mum insisted I take (Jewish Mother Syndrome…) when a huge raven came up in front of me and started staring at me. It was about a foot from beak to tail and eight or nine inches tall. It was staring at me in a way that made me very uncomfortable (bear in mind that ravens are carrion birds; in the wild, they eat dead bodies, among other things). I think it probably wanted my biscuit, so I swallowed the last bite and got up from the bench and slowly moved a bit away, hoping it would lose interest. It sort of did, because it became fascinated with my rucksack which I had left where it was on the ground in front of where I was sitting.

I don’t know if it could smell the remains of our lunch inside, but it kept poking the bag with its beak and dragging it about. E thought it even had a go at opening the zips with its beak. (Ravens are very clever birds – see this article from National Geographic.) By this stage, there were quite a few people watching the raven trying to open my bag. Fortunately, it didn’t do it and after a couple of minutes it lost interest and I quickly snatched the bag away before it changed its mind. But it was a weird and slightly scary couple of minutes.

Otherwise, the Tower was empty, with no queue for the Crown Jewels at all. I guess tourists are still staying away. There’s even an advertising campaign at the moment advising people to visit the Tower now while it’s empty.

7 thoughts on “Quoth the Raven

  1. I want to visit London so badly! Going to have to find a way. I enjoyed hearing about the history of the ravens in the tower. So a little push with the foot won’t deter the raven getting too close or going after your bag, I take it? I’m off to read the National Geographic article now.

    Liked by 1 person

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