Once upon a time, in a far away cornfield, there lived a very curious scarecrow. In fact, he was so curious that he would often irritate his friends with his never-ending questions about everything he could think of. The farm was the only place Scarecrow could remember and he had become worried that he would live there forever. He woke up in the same place every morning, stayed in the same place all day and went to sleep in the same place every night.
Over the years, Scarecrow had learned that he was good at three things: Using his
imagination, being curious and of course, scaring crows. Scarecrow was very good at his job but he did not enjoy scaring the crows. It seemed that when they came near him, all they wanted was fly away in fright. Maybe it is something I have said or done, thought Scarecrow, but as he had never had the chance to ask the crows, he was just left to wonder.
Scarecrow had lots of time and he soon made friends with the spiders and insects that had come to keep him free from fleas and mites. They would take the time each day to teach him, as best as they could, about the world around him. He had learned the names of things such as “corn” and “dirt”, he learned about how the clouds would bring changes in the weather and he had even learned to count to nine without stopping. Still, he always wanted to learn more. “Spider,” Scarecrow would ask, “What are those lovely, green shapes I can see over there?”
“Those are the trees,” Spider would reply. “Their job is to make the world beautiful and to help the birds, and other animals live happy lives.” Scarecrow wished that he was born to do that job as well, but instead, his only job appeared to be scaring the birds and most of the other animals away.
As much as he loved the friends that he had, Scarecrow had grown more and more curious about what was beyond the trees at the edge of his farm and imagined the adventures he was missing.
One morning, while the spiders and insects were still sleeping, Scarecrow had woken up and was standing in his field, silently looking out at the sun rising over his farm. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a single crow hopping through the corn towards him. He was waiting for the crow to fly away in fear just like they always did, but instead, the crow kept hopping closer and closer as she searched for bugs among the stalks. Once the crow reached the Scarecrow, his stick body dressed in his baggy clothes, she looked up at him with her head tilted in curiosity.
“You are not afraid of me?” asked Scarecrow.
“Not at the moment,” replied the crow. “Are you supposed to be scary?”
“Well, my friends don’t think so, but other animals never want to come near me. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I ask them too many questions.”
“Let’s find out. Why don’t you ask me some questions and I will see if I find you scary,” suggested Crow.
Scarecrow was excited to find a new friend and so he spent hours asking Crow many questions about her adventures and what lay beyond the trees. Crow was very patient and Scarecrow listened to her every word as she answered every question in as much detail as she could while. Soon, Scarecrow told her he would love nothing more than to see the mountains and rainforests and oceans with his own eyes.
Though once Scarecrow had spoken this thought out aloud, his new friend suddenly flew away with a loud screech, leaving Scarecrow all alone again and feeling his same familiar sense of restlessness.
Scarecrow’s imagination was racing with all of the new things he had learned about the world. Hours passed and as he was looking over the horizon, something caught his eye. A flock of black crows were coming towards him, but this time something was different. They didn’t seem to be afraid at all, and they seemed to be moving purposefully towards him. Soon they were closer than they ever had been before and were now flying above him. He wasn’t sure how many crows there were, but there was definitely more than nine. His new friend had come back and she signalled to the other crows to be silent as she made her way down on to Scarecrow’s shoulder, gently whispering something in his ear.
Scarecrow nodded and closed his eyes as the flock quietly made their way down towards him. He felt their claws grip him and gently remove his stick body from the ground that had held him for so long. As he flew towards the trees that had beckoned him for so long, carried by the crows he was supposed to scare every day, Scarecrow opened his eyes and smiled for the first time in a very, very long time.