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In early University I dated this guy and he was from a farm in Saskatchewan. Well, his family was. He was from the suburbs. Or Mars. It might have been Mars, come to think of it.

That’s not the point.

His grandmother and I were sitting in her farmhouse kitchen in early March – we must have been there for Easter. The boyfriend’s daughter was playing in the corner. There was a blizzard and I made a comment about the groundhog being a lousy predictor.

Groundhogs don’t work on the Canadian Prairie, she told me. (And I don’t remember her first name. I would have called her by her last name anyway. I was a particularly meek and well mannered 19 year old).

It’s crows. Spring is a month away when you see the first crows back. Every year about this time I start watching for the crows and I think of her.

And I saw the first one last night.

The days are lengthening. The snow is melting.

The crows are back.

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