Crow column: Crow formal traditions


Alyssa McConkey

Crows dressed up for Fall Formal

Katie Sherwood, Capstone Editor

After observing the crows for a whole day to understand their daily schedule, the crows accepted my presence. They even allowed me a cursory glance into their Fall Formal traditions and practices. I have compiled a list of all the activities observed on the day of Fall Formal:

  • There is a buzz of activity as various crows fly around in the early morning air, collecting shiny trinkets. A couple of crows accosted a student for her shiny earrings.
  • It appears the crows have a sort of “Promposal” ritual, where they show off their trinkets to attract a date. Some grow their piles to considerable heights, rivaling the size of the overflowing Page dumpsters. Others simply look for the most impressive glittery stolen object, flying high and reflecting the light of the hot sun into the eyes of students below. I believe this is some kind of talent display, and with the recent blazing heat, one crow managed to start a small fire behind the DC with a pair of bedazzled glasses. Thankfully, an astute security guard quickly ran over to the area with his golf cart, putting out the sparks. I wonder if the crows are truly arsonists at heart?
  • As the night begins, the crows slowly gather in pairs. Some crows seek out crows with other large piles to combine their hoards. Other crows are attracted by the shining beacons of light reflecting off whatever their peers carry. Once a match is made, each crow gifts a shiny trinket to the other and then they split ways, presumably to prepare for the dance.
  • As students gather near the DC for a gourmet meal before the dance, many carry umbrellas to cover the shine of their jewelry from the prowling birds. One unlucky student lost his phone after he had turned on his flashlight to help his date look for her lost shoe. He later found it because it was discarded when the battery died, but the girl’s shiny heel is now the prized possession of a crow. Though a sad loss, who keeps their shoes on during the dance, anyway?
  • The crows partake in a meal with their dates, sifting through the trash on the DC lawn. They are outfitted with stolen bracelets as necklaces and aluminum foil pieces or gold rings as hats. One crow wore a shiny hair bow around its neck as a bowtie.
  • As the shuttle picked up students, all elegantly dressed for the dance, the similarly dressed crows gathered atop the shuttle for a free ride down the hill. Once at the Hilton, they spread out on the lawn outside, hopping about to the music. They seemed to gain considerable joy from carrying out their shenanigans with a new audience. 

It will always be strange to see the crows sharing tender moments when they dance and fly together in the moonlight. As chaotic — and sometimes cruel — the crows may seem, it is clear they do, indeed, have hearts underneath those feathery chests.

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