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There are a lot of ravens here in our new home.

I love having them around. They are pests, of course, in the sense that they get into trash and spread it around and make a mess of everything. And they are noisy and generally unclean. But they are the most beautiful pests I ever remember living around.

They look so elegant as they fly into a parking lot or toward some trash bin, spreading their long, broad wings wide as they slow to a standstill over their chosen landing spot, their abundance of sleek, jet plumes claiming all the space around them as they settle in to scavenge.

Their size puts them right on the cusp between small creatures that can be batted or shooed away without a care and large creatures that must be fought against if they become aggressive. I see them alternately in each category, feeling carefree and cautious in turns as I come near them.

But every time I see them, I remember their place in the mythology of my people. I love them for that most of all.