Tiny and Woodmint sat around the kitchen table, nibbling on toasted chestnuts and enjoying the warmth of the fire. They had been meeting each Sunday to discuss the Feast of Midwinter, but today they were distracted by a commotion outside the window.

The afternoon had been invaded by a steely-grey mist, and the meadow was still and tense as though waiting to hear a dark secret. One by one the crows began to swoop, flapping and shrieking into the leafless trees, wild smudges of charcoal smearing the ashen skies.

“The Council of Crows is in session, lets go and look Tiny!” said Woodmint. He opened the door to find a crow perched on the doorstep, who Tiny recognized to be Solomon, a frequent visitor to Miss. Rose’s garden.

“Tiny please help us!” he squawked, “Some of the yearlings have traveled beyond the Misty Ripple Meadow and talk of greener pastures. The Elders do not want them to leave for fear of  breaking up the roost. Our crow families cannot agree and are fighting!” Tiny was perplexed and wondered how she could help, but promised to return the following week with an idea.

Solomon’s problem occupied Tiny’s mind for much of that week. She thought back to her own life with her beloved Miss. Rose, who had never caged her, and always encouraged her to go out into the world. Miss. Rose trusted that Tiny would return, and she always did. She had found her answer.

The following Sunday, Solomon listened intently to Tiny’s story, thanked her and returned to the noisy horde. After some time, the squawks and cries of the crows subsided. Tiny and Woodmint watched in wonder as the birds formed a giant black heart in the sky. They then broke their formation and created two hearts, one inside the other. Finally the larger heart opened up, allowing the birds in the center to fly free and seek their greener pastures. Tiny smiled to herself.  Trust, she thought, was a truly beautiful thing.

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