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It was a dark and rainy night. He didn’t like delivering messages when it was so late, everyone was asleep, or well on their way to dreamland, which meant that he would have to tap on a window for some time, before anyone answered. But the message was important and besides, he was in love with Lily and didn’t want to miss an opportunity to see her.
He arrived at her balcony, flew to her window, and shook out his feathers. He preened for a moment or two, then tapped. He saw the candlelight immediately. Fortunately, he had arrived before she sought her bed. The window opened and she waved him inside.
“Come in, come in, you’ll catch your death out there,” she said, shutting the window behind him.
He hopped to the fireplace and stood on the bricks, drying his wings. He cawed softly and she sat next to him, her long, unbound, hair falling around her shoulders.
“What is it my lovely? What news?”
He fluttered one more time, rubbed his beak on a brick and stared up at Lily. His heart thudded in his chest. She was beautiful, she was his mate. If she would only remember.
“My lovely one, what is wrong?” she asked, calling him closer.
He cawed and tried to speak, just as Lilly ran her pale hand down his back. The crow trembled under her touch and leaned against her, his sadness obvious.
“My sweet one, what has happened?”
Just kiss me he thought, just one kiss.
“You are so beautiful,” said Lily, sighing. “It pains me to see you so unhappy.”
The crow cawed miserably.
“Here,” she said happily. “This will make it better.” Then she bent over the crow and kissed him on top of his head.
Lily was surprised when she looked down and saw her talons. She held out a wing and flew to the window where she saw her image reflected back to her. She was a lovely black crow. She had a strong beak and blue black feathers. As soon as the spell had been broken she remembered the curse and the horrible wizard who turned her into a human, taking her away from her love, from her murder of crows, from her family.
The crow landed next to her. “I’ve missed you so much,” he cawed. “It’s been so long.”
“I’m back,” she answered delightedly. “I’m me.”
“I love you.”
“I love you as well,” she cawed, bobbing up and down.
The door opened and the wizard walked in, his hands in fists. He saw the two birds and began to scream. “You’ll never have her,” he yelled. “Never.”
The crows flew past him, out the open door to freedom.
Two days later the wizard was found in the middle of the road, face down in a puddle. His eyes were missing and his throat and been torn out. It wasn’t long after that until the people of the town realized that all of the crows were gone.
The message the crow was to have been delivered was a simple one. Humans, even wizards, should remember not to mess with Mother Nature or true love.