So I'm on the highway driving with my wife, meaning traffic in every lane is jammed and crawling by inches. I take the exit, which is also packed with idling vehicles. To the left is a massive peristaltic anaconda of gridlock, the upcoming concrete underpass swallowing cars the way a giant snake eats mice whole. To the right, mercifully, is a small natural-looking green space encircled by the ring-shaped exit ramp. I dutifully watch the truck in front of me while my wife gazes out at the park.
A black shape whizzes by the passenger window. I see it in the periphery of my vision.
"Was that a crow smoking a cigar?" I ask.
"I think he's got a croissant," says my wife, "A whole croissant."
Where the devil would a crow get a whole croissant, I wonder. I imagine a nearby stereotypical Frenchman in distress, hollering after the bird while carrying his white ceramic cup of steaming hot breakfast chocolate.
Crows are expert scavengers, and employ a high level of intelligence to decide when the effort to steal potential food or something attractive and shiny will be worth the effort. They will use deception and sneaky tactics to gain their objective. Once they have snatched their prize, the perceptive crow will have a smart exit strategy. They will find ways to hide or cache food in unlikely places so that they can eat it undisturbed.
As we slowly creep in traffic round the exit, my wife and I watch the crow bury what indeed was an entire croissant in among some tall green reeds. Later that day, we find ourselves at the grocery store looking at shelves of golden flaky pastry.