Yesterday I looked out of the window, south over our yard and neighbour's field just after a thunderstorm had blown through.

There were hundreds and hundreds of crows. I've never seen this many crows in one spot before (in real life anyways).

It took a few minutes to realize that they were not making much noise. Hundreds of silent crows.

After about 15 minutes they started flying off in groups of 20-40 heading north. As you can imagine it took some time before the last group left.

Ominous if you are superstitious. They are obviously up to no good.

Ravens and crows (and magpies) have been cast in folklore as rather evil beasts; always siding with and being partners with or tools of the evil villain in the story. Harbingers of death. Dark messengers.

It is our fears of the unknown that create monsters out of nothing. There is little dark corner of the mind that whispers crows are not to be trusted.

I have no personal experience that crows are dangerous. It is all just rumours and vague unproven stories. But this is enough to activate the part of the brain that responds to danger. It "could" be true after all.

Yet, in reality crows are just crows. They are neither good nor evil as a species. They perform a vital role in nature… and they are supposed to be quite intelligent.

For me, I witnessed something amazing.

But it did make me think again about how our subconscious mind responds to rumours and stories; as if they must all be true.

I've read that well told stories stick with our memory just as well as real events. This helped us learn and survive back in our more dangerous pasts.

But sometimes, stories (and rumours) can be wrong. If fact they often are, because the ones that spread quickly are usually sensational in some way.

So the challenge is to use stories wisely when you tell them and to interpret stories you hear carefully… avoid reacting to or spreading dark rumours.