My grandfather had a pet crow; it would go everywhere with him; his name was Louie. I’m not sure how he acquired this bird. It’s possible that Louie had simply landed in the apple tree one morning and my grandfather had tamed him. He was that kind of person. He had a big house in Rockville Centre with an enormous yard, which he had slowly transformed into a real showplace. When the rhododendrons were in bloom people would stop their cars and take pictures.
One morning my grandfather got into a fuss with Louie and Louie had taken refuge in the apple tree, squawking and yelling (I guess that’s the word) at my grandfather. When my Aunt Ethel came to the back door to see wh7at the racket was all about, she found my grandfather in a lather; he looked like he was going to climb right up the tree and drag him down. My aunt went back into the kitchen to find some food for Louie. She had been gone maybe two minutes–by her. account—but when she retlurned with some crackers, she found my grandfather face down in his garden, the faint whiff of cigar smoke in the air.
John? she’d whispered, touching his arm, trying to wake him; but he was already dead, When she looked at the sky, Louie had gone too.\