The Cursed Crow

The crow sat on the thin, dry branch, lonely, morose, listless, waiting

For the pain to subside, for someone to see him for who he was, without hating

Every day he would sit at the same spot, from dawn till late at night

But they would come, they would look at him, and be repulsed at his mere sight

 

For you see, dear readers, the crow was not just ‘regular crow’ ugly, but worse

His body was covered with pus-filled wounds, all due to a wicked witch’s curse

He had been a handsome prince once, though you would not believe it if you saw him now

And had spurned the advances of the witch, going as far as to call her a fat cow

 

Now hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, this much we all know

But a scorned witch is even more dangerous, don’t say later that I didn’t tell you so

She cursed him to turn into the creature whose very sight filled him with contempt

So that he knew how it felt to be treated with disgust, and to be spurned at every attempt

 

He begged and pleaded with her to lift her curse, and she finally said that he would come back into her good books

And turn back into a prince when a girl would look after him for one month, despite his hideous looks

The only condition was that he could not reveal his real identity to anyone at all

Which meant that he kept waiting and waiting, through Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall

 

Until one day, a cute little girl of some six or seven years

Saw him sitting alone, and her eyes filled with tears

She climbed up the tree, and gently lifted him up in her palm

And bringing him down, dressed his wounds with some balm

 

She took him home with her, and named him Kyle

And despite his ugliness, she always looked at him with a smile

They played together, she shared all her joys and sorrows with him

And very soon, the prince felt that his bowl of happiness was now filled up to the brim

 

Twenty nine days had passed now, each moment of each day filled with laughter and joy

For the girl treated the crow like a friend, not as a pet or a toy

They would complete a month together the next day

And the crow would become a prince again, with the yoke of the curse thrown away

 

The thirtieth day dawned, bright and clear, as if the Gods of nature had awakened it with a kiss

And the girl woke up with her usual smile, but suddenly, she knew that something was amiss

She looked by her bedside, and her heart gave a lurch as she saw

The reason why she had not been awakened by her friend Kyle’s caw-caw

 

She looked high and she looked low, and she asked everyone for miles around

But Kyle had disappeared without a trace, and he was nowhere to be found

Worried sick for his safety, she kept praying for him till late at night

And for the first time in almost a month, slept without holding Kyle tight

 

The night passed somehow, as it always does, and the sun came up again

When suddenly, the girl’s sleep was disturbed by a deeply familiar refrain

Caw-Caw, came a voice in her ears, and she leaped out of bed

And hugged Kyle with her tiny hands, glad that he was not injured or dead

 

No recriminations followed, no bitterness, no anger, everything went immediately back to the way it was before

They laughed together, cried together, helping each other out in every chore

She did not know it then, but her best friend would continue to disappear every thirtieth day, even though it would break her heart and make her sad

For he knew that if he lived with her for thirty days at a stretch, he would regain his human form, and his kingdom, but lose the only true friend he ever had!

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Written in response to the Thursday Photo Prompt – Crow at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the beautiful picture provided by Sue as this time’s prompt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About anuragbakhshi

At the age of 40, I decided to exit the corporate world, and enter the world of stories as a full-time writer. Wish me luck!
This entry was posted in Children, fantasy, Flash Fiction, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to The Cursed Crow

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    That is such a lovely tale…and I love the ending 🙂

  2. Elizabeth says:

    So beautiful story, in some way, made me sad.

  3. dancjulian says:

    This is magnificent! Wonderful music in a hearty tale complete.

  4. Vivian Zems says:

    A really good story. I’m reading the story of Sinbad the Sailor at the moment and I’m in fantasy mode…..so this was great!

  5. I love this. Please tell me that you have a book, a collection that I can buy.

    • You just made my day, nay week, nay month, nay year Constance. Thank you so so much. I’ve been pitching my short story collection to various publishers here, but haven’t really received any encouraging response till date. The blog has more than 200 stories, please feel free to browse as much as you like. I’ll mail you my pick of the collection that I’ve been pitching, for your convenience in the meanwhile 🙂

  6. Meena says:

    Great story Anurag. For a moment, I did think Kyle went away to be the prince he always wanted to be.

  7. Pingback: The Cursed Crow – Anurag Bakhshi #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  8. Oh, this is so charming a tale. 🙂

  9. Pingback: Photo prompt round up – Crow #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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