It’s three years since I first saw a red kite and a crow flying together. Crows are often seen chasing kites away from their nests but these two were almost dancing with one another in the sky, swirling off and coming together again in a joyful aerial friendship, moving to watch. On many occasions, especially in the spring, I’ve see them in the distance, calmly inseparable. Apparently they were famous in the surrounding villages – people came from quite a distance in the hope of catching a glimpse of them.
This spring I haven’t seen them. But this evening I saw a lone red kite drifting over the fields with that mewling, desolate cry. Probably it was hungry. Still, I couldn’t help wondering if that cry was prompted by a hunger for more than food. Was it THE kite, no longer with the crow?
Perhaps some people will say self-interest was their motivation for staying together – that their different methods of finding food meant they got more to eat. I think the rareness of such pairings gives the lie to that. Their flight together was so full of joy, I don’t like to think about their grief at being parted. I want them to die together. I know, however, that it’s unlikely.