He can usually scare off crows, magpies, jack rabbits and squirrels. They fly or run away, and Shadow feels like he's the big dog on the block. But the raven just looked down its beak at the Shadow, as if to say, "That all you got? Really?"
It was a magnificent bird, and I told it so -- shiny black feathers, intelligent eyes, long, strong beak. I also told it how much I appreciate its presence in the neighbourhood, especially its sense of humour and play. I love to watch it ride the air currents way above the trees, and it left me lots of presents in the birdbath over the summer -- a few shiny trinkets, candy wrappers, and the odd half mouse, yuck. Anyway, I spoke to it, and it listened intently for a few moments, unafraid, and then Shadow and I moved on, the dog frustrated that he couldn't budge the bird, the bird looking like it wondered what that was all about.
Having wildlife around is always a good thing because it reminds us human beings that we aren't the only pebbles on the beach -- that this planet isn't just for our use, but to be shared with all the other creatures around us. If we could all see the intrinsic beauty and value in a raven, a rabbit, or a rosebush, you can bet we'd be more likely to treat everyone and everything with deeper respect.
So I dare you. Go outside. Find a tree, or a chickadee, or some other living thing and tell it that it's a valuable part of your existence. Perhaps the best way to change the world is to increase our own appreciation and gratitude for its myriad forms of life.