The Raven. © Keith H. Burgess.
The raven was perched in a low dead tree up ahead. My dog was running here there and everywhere following the multitude of scents that were all about. The paddock was empty of sheep now, but it was not the sheep scent that Noir followed, she was trained to ignore sheep. No these were the scents of roo, fox, perhaps dog and rabbit and hare.
The raven was still in the dead tree but appeared to be alert. Noir ran in that direction but she did not look up and see the raven but the raven was watching her. The trail I followed ran through bracken but as I approached the dead tree the trail widened as the bracken fell back to expose grass. Suddenly the raven took flight, but toward me instead of away from me. I kept walking but the raven flew straight at me and then turned and dived toward me again. But this was not an attack; it was more like a warning. It continued to flap in front of me appearing to do some sort of aerobatics directly in front of me and then suddenly something caught my eye, a large snake crossing my path just a little ahead. As soon as the snake had crossed my path and disappeared into the bracken on the other side the raven broke off its gyrations and returned to the tree. My dog came bounding over obviously on the scent of the snake and I called her to heel.
As I got to the tree I stopped and said “thank you”, and after a brief recognition that I had spoken to it, the Raven took off calling loudly.