Ravens have had a place in many different legends from numerous cultures. In the Norse legend the god Odin had a pair of ravens who were his messengers. In the Middle Ages they were harbingers of death and associated with wicked priests. In Native American lore ravens represent the fool and the wise one; darkness and light; death and creation.
Ravens remind me of playful intelligence. I love to watch them. They will look into your eyes thoughtfully, follow you on a walk, and croak their encouragements in many guttural sounds. If you listen long enough I believe you start to understand the difference between greetings and curses. Yes, I definitely believe that they have emotions too.
I have watched them many times. They can dive and soar in free abandonment or fight and claw an enemy. I have also learned that they can be accomplices with hunters. They have been known to perch above prey cawing loudly and drawing the attention of a lion or wolf to kill a deer knowing that they will have the left overs. This is one resourceful bird. So the next time you see a raven or crow give them a little nod of respect or the trickster may just play a prank on you.
On a recent trip to the American southwest this raven seemed to take an interest in me and my camera. He posed for many shots but I liked this one the best.