Under Santa Fe Skies

by Susan Tungate

The Raven

I returned home one late afternoon to find a baby raven hopping down the middle of the driveway. Baby must have fallen out of the nest in the tall evergreen tree over the house. An adult raven, let’s call her Mom, sat on the fence squawking at the little one. What to do. The neighborhood is full of cats. Baby would be dinner if I did not help her.

I managed to maneuver Baby into the patio as Mom swooped and screamed, warning me to do the right thing because she was ready to take my eyes out if I harmed a feather. Once Baby was at least semi safe, I ran inside and Googled “what do ravens and crows eat” and “helping baby raven” or something like that. Turns out Harry the Cat’s canned beef would work just fine.

Baby’s first big leap was into the Napoleonic era Oeil de Boeuf  leaning against the coyote fence. Baby has great taste in French antiques.

Baby served as evening entertainment for Harry the Cat, Georgia the Dog and me. When I last saw her before bed, Baby was huddled between the fence and the shed. I wished her a safe evening and hoped she would not meet the cat next door.

The next morning Baby had progressed to the top of the bistro chair. Mom watched from a limb of the bean tree.

I watched as Baby hopped down from one chair and scaled another which was right under Mom’s limb.

At this point Baby started screaming. Right on cue another larger raven, let’s call him Dad, came out of a high limb of the evergreen, swooped  down and into the open mouth of Baby delivered breakfast.

This pattern was repeated for two more days. Baby screamed. Dad made a special delivery. Mom hovered. Baby’s wings grew stronger until she was able to make a rocky landing on top of the coyote fence where she would just hang out.

On the third morning I came outside and Baby was gone. I looked in the adjacent yard. I looked around the house. No Baby. I sat down on the patio step, thanked them all for letting me have this glimpse into their lives and wished them well. Right then, and I am not kidding, Mom swooped in and landed on her perch on the limb of the bean tree. Then a small raven made a very rocky landing next to her, followed by the arrival of a large raven. Mom, Baby and Dad sat there for 15 seconds, then all flew away.

For the Native Americans, raven medicine, their message to humans, is to inform us that we must become comfortable in our inner world in order to experience a change of consciousness. As stated by Keshi, a local store which sells Zuni fetishes, “Raven is comfortable there and offers us the opportunity to discover the personal fears and demons that are keeping us from our awakening and our magic. The black color of the feathers of Raven contain all colors, evoking creativity, not negativity. Raven medicine can help us to really look at the issues that frighten, anger and thwart us. Doing this can lead to understanding and integration so that the negative energy is magically lifted.” To that I say a big thank you to the ravens.

And a post script. Almost every day this summer, often in the morning and some days in the late afternoon, a raven sits on the limb of the bean tree for a minute or two.



  1. Jane Scott says:

    Crow magic is alive and well in the Scott household…love and honor this story. Thank you, Susan, for helping us find our magic. Jane

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