I realize that some of my essays, although they are about true events in the lives of other animals, can be "downers". So, I'm always looking for "uppers", and this story, sent to me by a former student at Washington University (St. Louis), Nicole Balant, made my day.

The video of a young raven in Elmsdale, Nova Scotia, trusting a woman to remove porcupine quills is priceless. Wilfred, as the Cleary family named him, sat patiently as Gertie Cleary removed the quills one-by-one. Wilfred protested now and again, but he clearly trusted that Gertie was helping and would continue to help him despite his squawking. 

To quote Ms. Cleary, “It reminded me of a child with a splinter and when you pull a splinter out, they holler and screech and pull their hand away.” 

Wilfred stayed around the Cleary home for a day before flying off.

What I love about this video is how Wilfred knew what to do to get help, because he couldn't pull out the quills on his own. And, Gertie Cleary did what was right, as, I would like to believe, others would also do. Animals depend on our goodwill and this story made my day.

The teaser image can be seen here.

Recent Posts in Animal Emotions

Guinea Pigs Have a Positive Effect on Autistic Children

These cute and cuddly rodents make kids more interactive and less anxious

Violent Humans Are Animals, but Not Behaving Like Animals

It's about time media and others get the behavior of nonhuman animals right

Wolves and Baboons in Ethiopia Form Unlikely Friendships

Wolves show an increase in capturing rodents when within a gelada baboon herd

New Zealand Declares Animals to be Sentient, Bans Testing

In an unprecedented move, New Zealand makes animal testing illegal

Dogtology: A New Book About Our Obsession With Dogs

Jeff Lazarus's book explores what the author calls our dog-centric "religion"

Dogs Snub Mean People and Apes Like Positive Spin

New research shows dogs are rather picky and apes prefer positive framing