Like many kids her age, 8-year-old Gabi Mann from Seattle has an interesting collection of treasures. A yellow bead, one blue earring, a tiny light bulb, a paperclip and a rusty screw. But unlike many kids her age, Gabi didn't collect these treasures herself. They were brought to her by crows.
Yes, you read that right. Like Cinderella, Gabi has bird friends that bring her gifts on a regular basis.
It all started quite by accident. As a toddler, Gabi was prone to dropping her food as she walked along. Soon, the crows were keeping an eye on her, and swooping in to pick up the pieces whenever she dropped a morsel. As Gabi got older, she began sharing her school lunch on the way to the bus stop. It didn't take long before the crows lined the street to greet her bus each day.
Then, in 2013, Gabi decided to do more than just share the scraps of her lunch. Each morning, she began filling a birdbath with fresh water, and setting out food — peanuts, dog food and general leftovers — for the birds to eat. It was then that the gifts from the crows started to appear.
Her collection also includes a miniature silver ball, a black button, a faded black piece of foam and a blue Lego piece. She stores the treasures that the crows bring to her in a bead container, with each gift carefully itemized and labeled.
What's Gabi's most prized treasure? A pearl-colored heart. Because Gabi says that's the one that shows just how much they love her.
But not everyone is thrilled with the visiting flock. More than 50 neighbors signed a petition to stop the crow feeding and two neighbors have filed a lawsuit, reports SeattlePI, saying the large numbers of birds have damaged their homes and property.
You can listen to Gabi and hear more about her story on The Bittersweet Life podcast.