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Summit Up

SUMMITUP
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Good morning and welcome to Summit Pup, we mean Up, the world’s only daily column mercifully taking a break from the Cute Dog Contest.Today, thankfully, we turn our attention to an animal of another sort – crow, specifically – and what it means to eat it.

We posed the question of how the term “eating crow” came to be in a recent column, and our intrepid readers, of course, came up with some of their own personal research.Catherine Cockburn offers this from the other side of the world, Australia:”As for literally eating a crow, Google provides this recipe: ‘Crows are notoriously disagreeable birds, in every respect. Scavengers, they are not suitable for eating. An old joke among outdoorsmen holds that if you get lost in the woods without any food and manage to catch a crow, you should put it in a pot with one of your boots, boil it for a week, and then eat the boot.

“The author goes on to say: ‘The expression to eat crow is surprisingly recent. It is originally and still chiefly an Americanism, first found in the mid-19th century. The original form was to eat boiled crow.'”Yick! I’d much rather have mine fried. Crows are a blasted pest in my part of the world (Australia) but as they’re a native species it’s illegal to shoot or kill them in any way. A man was recently fined $1,500 for shooting one (I don’t think he intended eating it) and given a suspended jail sentence. Is this insanity or what?”

Susan Ray of Dillon adds: “The origin of ‘eating crow’ is ultimately unknown. Almost all authorities cite an incident that took place during a truce in the war of 1812. The story goes that an unarmed British officer encountered an American hunter near the Niagra River, gained control of his musket and thereby forced him to eat the crow he had just shot. The American complied, but when his musket was returned, forced the British officer to do the same.”The first recorded ‘in context’ citation (where ‘eating crow’ is associated with humiliation) occurred 1877, where it is ‘to eat boiled crow.'”Our readers rule …


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