Once the crows of Wall Street asked themselves, “Why not have it all?” It was all there for the taking, wasn’t it? Life offered more than just the odd bit of wind-blown gain. Why bother with small pickings when a little extra moxie could bring far greater rewards? They deserved it as much as anybody else. And if they didn’t go for it all, others surely would. Everybody was out for whatever could be had in this world, the crows were convinced, so why not grab whatever you could in the rush? Having agreed they had a perfect right to carry off anything they could manage, the crows pursued their goal single-mindedly. Nothing could deter or divert them. The few scarecrows set up by authorities to curb their designs earned only their raucous scorn. Nor were the crows troubled by second thoughts in their choice of tactics to employ. If they spied some prize in the hands of the weak or unsuspecting, they set to flapping wildly and cawing loudly until the distracted victim surrendered whatever it was they coveted. “Bottom line, we’re just too smart for these losers,” they’d laugh to one another till they were hoarse. “It’s like taking candy from a baby, haw haw haw.” The one thing the crows had neglected to include in their calculations, however, was the existence of ravens. Ravens were to rapacity as black holes are to the sucking of every last ray of light from deep space. Besides possessing all of the cleverness of crows, they had appetites that were far greater and employed methods far more unsparing. They never blinked in their cold-eyed intent. What crows did out of mere craving, the ravens had turned into an art form. They figured every angle, accounted every advantage, and when they were through, winged their way to safe havens far out of reach. Had the crows been slightly more restrained in declaring themselves masters of their little universe, had they been able to resist the urge to flaunt with such brazenness the spoils they thought they were piling up, that plunder might not have drawn the attention of more adroit scavengers. But the crows didn’t have it within themselves even to consider restraint. And as they went about their noisy dealings in the street below, the ravens bided their time high above the commotion, waiting and watching for the moment to make their own move. When that moment came, the crows never knew what hit them.
Copyright © 2003-2004 by Geoffrey Grosshans