According to a centuries old superstition the fate of the British Isles rests in the tiny metaphorical hands of an unkindness of ravens who are kept in the Tower of London. Ravens who, in an attempt to prevent this happening, are given the best care money can provide, an infinite supply of beef and their own personal bodyguard. Which hasn’t stopped several of the ravens somehow being fired for being fucking off to the pub.
Now exactly where this superstition comes from isn’t clear with some experts thinking it dates back to Victorian times and others claiming it was invented during The Blitz to boost the moral of the population who were having the ever-loving shit bombed out of them by the Germans at the time. Either way, the legend holds that if the Tower of London ever finds itself bereft of ravens, the Crown and by extension Britain, will fall.
To avoid this, an unkindness of 6 to 8 ravens have been kept inside the Tower for several centuries straight now, with the care of these unthinkably powerful birds falling to a guy called, get this, THE RAVENMASTER!
For the most part the birds are allowed to come and go as they please with the Ravenmaster being tasked with ensuring that they’re happy, healthy and filled to the brim with beef. In addition, the ravens’ flight feathers are routinely clipped to ensure they don’t fly away, which hasn’t stopped several of the ravens doing exactly that.
For example, several Tower ravens have fucked off mid-shift to go to the pub, much to the annoyance of Tower officials who were forced to track the birds down to fire them. Why? Well, technically the ravens are considered “Soldiers of the Kingdom” and as such, can be dismissed for inappropriate behaviour, like deserting their post to go to the pub or attacking television aerials. The latter being the stated reason a raven called George was fired and sent to live in Wales.
Behaviour that hasn’t gotten ravens fired but has gotten them in hot water include scavenging food from bins and most hilariously, pretending to be dead. If you’re wondering how or why the ravens do this, nobody is quite sure but a popular theory is that they simply find it funny. With observers noting that the ravens seem to enjoy watching visitors panic when they spot them lying upside down on the grass with their feet in the air. Likewise, the ravens have been known to pretend to be dead purely so that they can bite people trying to help them, which well, sounds like something we’d do if we were bored, a bird and could get away with it.