A few doors down from my apartment complex is a small shop that sells plants. I've never been inside since --being a small place-- there would be the obligation on the shop keeper's side to make polite conversation and only appropriate word I know the Japanese for is 'tree'. The conversation would therefore progress something like this:
"Good evening. Are you looking for a particular plant?"
"I'm afraid we don't have anything as big as a tree. How about this small shrub?"
"No, I'm sorry, we really have nothing larger. What about a herb garden?"
"Are you on day release from a unit for the mentally disturbed?"
"If you say that to me again, I'm going to be forced to call the police."
Clearly it was not a good idea to go inside. I therefore have always just passed by, looking at the small array of pots on the pavement. Last night when I went out to get a pint of milk, one of the pots had become the perching ground for a crow.
Sapporo crows have two main distinguishing features. Firstly, they are the same size as my cat. Secondly, they are ballsy feathered fiends who fear no man or beast, probably because there is no man or beast they wouldn't consider eating. That said, they usually at least take a hop back if you get within touching distance. Undoubtedly, this is because a head on attack requires the room to spread wings.
This crow, however, did not move. I stopped before it and wandered whether it was stuffed. Its shiny black eyes implied it was the real article but it made no move to get away. I debated touching it but thought I would probably lose my hand.
This concern transpired to be a real fear of the shop owner since, upon my return journey a few minutes later, the crow was being interrogated by not one, but FOUR police officers. Most likely they had been called out due to fears that said fowl was scaring away customers / preventing the owner leaving the premisses / a look-out for a pot plant heist. The officers had the bird surrounded but appeared unsure about the next step. How do you handcuff a crow?
While the crow was remaining mum on all subjects, I personally felt its cock-sure attitude in the face of armed forces spelt a clear message:
"You got nothing on me. I've got friends in high places. REAL high places. And your eyes? They're breakfast."
I moved along in case I was about to bear witness to a terrible crime.
The next morning, both crow and police had gone. It remains uncertain as to who got rid of who. Notably, I have not seen the store owner since.