My informant first heard this when he eleven years old, living in the rural city of Daegu, Korea. He had woken up early in the morning not to the rooster’s crow but to the cawing of a crow. His father also awoke to chase the bird away. His father cautioned him to be careful for the rest of the week because crows usually caw in front of a household that has death in its near future. The cawing of these birds struck such fear in families.
The crow is not a welcome omen in the American culture, either. I would think so because the crow is a fowl that is completely black. Usually black is a sign of something ominous, evil, and more specifically death – hence, people wear black to funerals. In Korea the term for crow has the meaning “blacky.” I remember pulling into our driveway with my mother, and she was disconcerted to see a crow resting on our porch. She chased it away as he described his father had done. The black ominous figure casts a shadow over people who believe the crow brings news of death.