Neighbors: You've heard of pet birds, but how about a pet crow?

Merle Nelson with his pet crow, Blacky. Special to The Forum

Here’s a story about a boy and his pet crow named Blacky.

The “boy” is Merle Nelson, formerly of Oberon, N.D., southwest of Devils Lake, and now of Medford, Ore.

Merle sent his picture, taken when he was 13, and story to Duane Lysne, Perham, Minn., who passed it on to Neighbors.

Duane says Merle was the son of Walter Nelson, a Danish immigrant and the longtime owner of the John Deere dealership in Oberon.

This is what Merle wrote:
“While hunting for pheasants with Grandpa, we came upon a baby crow, and I took him home and fed him beef steak for his first meal.


“This was a big success, but I knew he would fly off some day.

“That day arrived and I assumed he was gone for good.

“Surprise! Why work for food when you can get it free?

“So I had a friend on a daily basis, so a picture was taken one day in 1943.

“Blacky provided a great pet and was the talk of the town. However, someone took him down, possibly due to excessive noise. He could be noisy.

“His body was found and we had an appropriate funeral.”

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Winter warning

On a less serious note, here’s an item Gary Westerholm, Fargo, saw on the web and sent to Neighbors:


“The squirrels are beginning to gather their nuts for the winter. I’m really worried about losing you as a friend. Please stay inside and lock the door, you’re important.”

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email

Bob Lind
Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist. The Forum

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