"It's time to feed the ravens," Mr. Bolt said to his nephew, Michael, who was acting as his assistant this summer.
"Yes, sir," Michael said, laying down his rake and heading to the refrigerator in the shed where the food for the ravens was kept.
Mr. Bolt had kept ravens at his farm in the English countryside for years. Ever since he had learned about the ravens at the Tower of London, he had been fascinated with them. Some believed that England would not be invaded by a foreign country as long as ravens still lived at the Tower. Many people now just tended to think of that as a story, but it was still fun for them to go see the ravens, and it had become a tourist attraction. Mr. Bolt and his wife Estelle had been there several times.
Mr. Bolt now had about 12 ravens of his own. He clipped their wings regularly so they could not fly away. Over the summer, his nephew Michael would come to stay with Mr. and Mrs. Bolt. Michael thoroughly enjoyed feeding the ravens. They always seemed excited when he came by with their food. Today was no different.
It was a lovely day, and the ravens appeared to be playing around in the yard near the barn. When Michael arrived near the ravens, he put the container down, and they came running. He began to scatter pieces of meat, hard-boiled egg, fruit, and vegetables among them. Even though he tried to be fair and feed them all equally, the ravens still fought among themselves for the food. They would poke and peck at each other and run around in chaotic circles, searching and grabbing for each bit.
Michael watched in fascination, being sure to keep some distance from the pecking birds. "This is interesting," he thought to himself. "There is plenty of food for all of them, yet they keep fighting."
Uncle Bolt sidled up to Michael and stood in silence for a moment. Then, as if reading Michael's thoughts, he made a comment.
"It's amazing how much they grab and fight, isn't it?"