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For as long as I have known her, Elke has had a jeweled meditation spot in our garden.  Here, we place rocks and shells from past trips.  Sprinkled about are the little decorative colored glass jewels that a florist might use in a potted plant.  We once took a trip to Tahiti, where I found a little piece of coral that reminded me of an ancient feminine figurine.  I held onto this souvenir for several weeks until I thought to myself, “This really needs to be put in Elke’s meditation spot.”  And there it came to be placed alongside the other pretty jewels and rocks.

We began to notice missing and misplaced items a little over a year ago.  We found jewels buried in the lawn. There are four ceramic turtles.  We’ve had to replace at least one of these, because it went missing with no clues to where it went.

At first, after some research, we thought that we were being visited by pack rats.  Once, a coyote left six dead rats on our lawn.  We’ve seen rats go after bird food that we’d left out.  We’ve had rats in our compost pile.  So pack rats wasn’t a big leap of imagination for us.  Yet, we’ve never found proof that this is true.

Next, we started to suspect our squirrels, who are numerous, belligerent, and destructive.  We’ve actually seen our squirrels burying the colored glass gems as they would a nut.  Squirrels definitely hold some part of the blame here.  But our friends the crows…. Boy!  do we have stories!  Of particular interest to the crows is a white elephant figure.  Numerous times, they’ve tried to haul it off, but it is not as light as one might think.


We’ve found pieces of the jeweled garden scattered hither and yon, all over the yard.  We chuckle when we imagine the crow’s nest lined with sparkling, colored jewels, meant maybe to make them feel good or to attract their mates.  What is so fascinating is they seem to have preferences.  They move things around, like an artist might do.  The three similarly-shaped white rocks in the elephant figurine picture above have been reset by us, time after time, to surround the elephant.  But the crows frequently reconfigure the positions of these rocks.

Crows are so smart!  We have a crow that we’ve seen grow from a baby.  It hangs around from time to time and makes noises that sound like human speech.  It constantly seems to be trying to communicate with us.  We’ve both come to love our crow-friends…except when they make racket in the morning.

That little coral rock that I brought home from Tahiti is no longer with us.  It wasn’t a very interesting thing, except in the eyes of my own mind.  But apparently, it spoke to some creature and convinced it that it was an interesting find.  I wonder where that little piece of coral ended up.  Perhaps it was given as a gift from some handsome male crow to a beautiful female.  I like to think that this is how its journey from one end of the earth to the other came to its end…for now.