Her Mabelness was the third crow in the City Crow Stories.
And now she is the hardest one to write an update about.
Those of you who have been following me for a while may have noticed I haven’t posted anything about her for a long while. Partly I kept hoping she’d reappear, and partly I was reluctant to share more bad news, however small, with the world seemingly awash in the stuff.
Anyway — Mabel was the crow I’ve known the longest, dating back to when she and George Brokenbeak were our “house crows.” She’s certainly the crow I’ve written the most about, following the her trials and tribulations with George Brokenbeak , and her survival and thriving after the loss of her mate.
George and Mabel’s love story is one of my most popular posts, and was even “stolen” and mis-told in a viral post that has been circulating for years.
Last spring Mabel seemed hale and hearty and preparing for another nesting season with her new mate. I took the next photograph of her April last year, not knowing it would be the last time I’d see her.
When she vanished for a few weeks, I didn’t worry at all as it’s normal for female crows to seemingly go AWOL for about three weeks as they sit quietly on the eggs in the nest.
But then May rolled around, and then June. The summer passed by with no sign of Mabel. What happened is a mystery and I just have to assume she went to join the great roost in the sky, where perhaps she’s reunited with George at last.
I still miss Mabel, the Queen of Frazzled — capable of looking dishevelled and yet regal all at once …
Apart from being a devoted mate to George, she was a pretty darned amazing parent.
Here are some of my favourite and oh-so relatable Mabel-being-a-mom moments from years gone by …
I will especially miss Mabel in the next couple of weeks when the pink plum blossoms appear on the local street trees.
The plum tree branches were always a favourite material of hers for nest construction. It was Mabel who was the model for the rather lovely and hopeful moment captured in Sky Messenger as she flew over me trailing a long garland for the nest.
Mabel was perhaps most at home upon her throne, inherited from George — a specific rusty yellow ring holding the chain at the entrance to the local school’s parking lot.
For a long time, only Mabel was allowed to perch there.
I noticed in the year before she disappeared that she’d occasionally permit her favourite offspring to take a turn. Perhaps she knew they needed to practice that regal pose.
I assume that one of the crow couple who took over Mabel’s corner includes one of those favoured heirs.
They’re certainly carrying on the Mabel tradition of confidence and sense of place.
One of the new pair is prone to making a beeping noise, something like heavy machinery backing up. So talented!
So here I present Mabel’s descendants, exalted inheritors of the golden ring — Beeper and Bopper.
More crow updates coming soon …
For a history of Mabel’s amazing life:
- George and Mabel: A Love Story (2017)
- George’s Tough Year (2016)
- Mabel the Matriarch (2020)
- The Mabels (2020)