crow_e

United States

23 neurotic crows in a recycled flesh suit
he/him || 17 || intp-t || lgbtq+
prosaic poet & sci-fantasy fiction writer
community ambassador alum [summer 2020]
published in wtw review issue 2.2
standing in solidarity with those angry

Message from Writer

active? nah. still around sometimes though

"You Can't Make This Stuff Up"

September 11, 2020

FREE WRITING

11
One morning, the people of Lueur woke to find their crops withered in the fields. 

Lueur was known for being prosperous, always thriving despite droughts and floods and other things that might allow a town to fall into famine. They praised the work of their ancestors, who’d built the village up from scratch, venerated the sacrifices they’d made. They believed the spirits of their ancestors guarded them, helped them in times of strife. 

They may have taken them a bit for granted. 

After inspecting their fields, the people of Lueur were afraid, for the winter season was coming soon, and they needed this fall’s harvest in order to survive. They did all they could, tended their crops with care, shooed away the crows that came to uproot the plants.

But still, the crops withered and died, and the crows circled.

A few weeks later, there was a visitor in their town. He was a strange-looking man, with strange tumbleweed hair and a strange glittering look in his eyes. He claimed he alone could fix their crops, that he’d known many a farmer and had owned a farm once and he knew different techniques on farm things. He wasn’t a farmer himself, though (he made that perfectly clear). Instead, he said, he was a townsperson just like them, from a town just like Lueur, a few miles away. 
Some were skeptical. The man was not a farmer, or anyone who had worked a field a day in his life. When they brought up their concerns, he waved them away. 

“Trust me,” he said, waving his strange hands. “I alone know how to help you.”

He boasted he’d made thousands of other villages happy, helped them during times of famine and hardship. He would chase the crows away himself, bring prosperity back to Lueur and restore it to its former glory. The people were desperate, so they let him in. 

He looked out over their fields, leaned against the gate and said, “Your crops have been burned by the sun. You must put umbrellas over them to keep them in the shade.”

The townspeople were astonished. Of course, they thought. This must be the answer. It wasn’t something they had thought of before, so it must be the solution. And the man seemed so sure of himself, so loud and proud and commanding.  

A few farmers spoke out. One said that these crops didn’t look to be burned, and that many of them needed direct sunlight to survive. Another asked about the rain. 

“The rain?” the man said. “What do you need the rain for?”

This again was something the people had never heard of before. The rain, they wondered. What do we need of rain? 

Again, the farmers expressed concern. They said the crops needed water to grow, but the man waved them off.

“What do you know?” he said. “Your crops failed before. You don’t know what you’re doing. What does a farmer know about farming? Anyone can farm.”

And, astonishingly, many of the townspeople agreed with him—how could they not, when he had such confidence and charisma? From that day forward, farmers were ridiculed, or at the least mistrusted. Their protests that the umbrellas would cause more harm than good fell on deaf ears. The townspeople planted new crops in their fields, and most put up umbrellas. 

(Some didn’t put them up at all, and others made sure to only keep them open when the sun was especially glaring. Their crops did marginally better than the rest.) 

Without direct rain or sun, the crops in the fields grew slowly, if at all. The crows still circled, closer now. There was a sense of unease. Some people wondered if this method would work, if the man really knew what he was doing. But the man reassured them that this was normal.

“There is more we must do!” he proclaimed. By this time, he was a regular in the village, had taken up residence in a large house on the hill, and was adored by most of the townspeople for his speeches and his confidence. Though, none of them wanted to walk up the road to his home due to the crows that lined the path, staring down coldly from the trees. “We must walk through our fields and praise our ancestors! They will help us!”

(Some wondered why he had said “our” ancestors, not being from the village. Some saw it as blasphemy, but they were overruled.)

So the townspeople did, stomped through their fields, shouted praise and thanks to the sky, and they trampled their fragile crops in the process. Those who had more robust fields tried in vain to keep the others away, but their fields suffered as well. 

The crows circled lower. 

After weeks of marching and singing, there was no new growth. So the man pointed to the farmers.

“It was them!” he shouted. “They sabotaged your crops!” 

The farmers vehemently denied these allegations, pointed to their own ravaged fields. But the man went on, called them liars and scoundrels, fueled by jealousy and greed, and the people, having been pulled along on the string so long they’d forgotten the string still existed, turned on the farmers. 

The townspeople chased the farmers out of the city with pitchforks and torches, destroyed the remains of their fields and set fire to their homes. Then, they built a wall around Lueur to keep them from returning. 

Sometime amidst the chaos, the strange man left. When they went to inspect his house, they found it empty, deserted. They sent out scouts to find him, to bring him back so he could assist them. The process couldn’t be over, right? Their fields were still in ruin. There had to be more. But the man was nowhere to be found, and having chased out all their farmers, the townspeople had no one left to turn to. 

By the winter, the strange man was gone for good, and the village suffered more than they would have before he came. 
 
an allegory for a school assignment. i'd be glad to field guesses on what exactly it's an allegory of. 

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  • September 11, 2020 - 6:40pm (Now Viewing)

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6 Comments
  • sunny.v

    this is so much later but hurrah! the strange man is gone irl this time


    17 days ago
  • outoftheblue

    ackk this is genius i actually love this ahh


    2 months ago
  • gigi.v

    I just joined this website so I'm not sure how this works, but I absolutely love how this allegory feels like a fable or a fairy-tale - as for the allegory, I'd have to guess Trump, with his aptly described 'tumbleweed hair'?


    2 months ago
  • rainandsonder

    i love this, it has such folklore vibes, like one of aesop's fables! i love the description of "tumbleweed hair" and agh it just works as such a good allegory!


    2 months ago
  • crow_e

    @sunny your first guess was right!


    3 months ago
  • sunny.v

    aaah. okay, at first i was thinking this was an allegory of the u.s. and its current president, but with the farmers leaving and the man himself leaving...i have no clue? can we get a hint, maybe?


    3 months ago