Editors, Vineyard Gazette;

David Lott’s article entitled A Squirrel Named Willie in last week’s Vineyard Gazette brought me such joyful memories of my own unusual childhood companion and reminded me that sometimes a kid’s best friend is not always a human or a dog.

As a child growing up in Connecticut and Martha’s Vineyard, I was not the most popular kid and often found myself most at ease with companions of a non-human dimension. And in the Spring of 1957, at the age of 15, I found Crowly. In fact, I ordered her by mail (something you could do back in those days). She arrived by post — a most beautiful, tiny baby black crow — soft and adorable.

She was not my first “mail-order pet,” but she would soon become my most cherished. Like Willie’s family, I brought Crowly to summer with me and the family at East Chop on Martha’s Vineyard. And, even as a baby, she immediately took to Vineyard life and felt right at home by the ocean. But Crowly was more than just a pet, more than just family — she was a true and loyal friend.

As a young boy, I loved tennis and played daily at the East Chop tennis club. Every day I rode my bicycle to the courts and back. But I was never alone on my daily tennis excursion, and I was never late. This is because clever Crowly soon learned of my routine.

Each morning she would peck on my parents’ bedroom window at the appropriate waking hour. She would wait for me to get dressed and have breakfast. When it was time for tennis, she dutifully accompanied me to the tennis club by flying right over my shoulder as I rode my bike to the courts.

While I played, my steadfast companion found herself a convenient spectator’s perch right on the court fence and patiently watched my games. When it was time to head home, she would fly alongside me as I sped back to the house. Crowly never missed a lesson.

To this day, I still think often of Crowly. I have been blessed with so many wonderful friends over the years but none so special and unique as Crowly. Thank you Willie and David for making me smile as I look up to the sky wondering if I might per chance see Crowly flying by!

Michael Graham

Oak Bluffs