Edgar Allen Poe had fallen asleep while writing at his desk around midnight and was awakened by a rapping at his door. He thought the blasted raven had returned, but when he opened the door he found instead a crow.
The crow was injured and as there was a blizzard howling, shivering with cold. He brought the bird in, tended to its injuries and placed it on his hearth to be warmed by the fire.
Days passed and Poe fed and cared for the bird which never showed any desire to leave. Indeed, it seemed to like to sit perched on the hearth and watch as Poe wrote at his desk.
Then one night, Poe was drinking absinthe - that green wormwood and herb liqueur that may have induced some of Poe's more bizarre flights of fancy. He went over to the hearth to pet the crow and absentmindedly left his glass there. The crow, thinking it was being offered to him, drank the absinthe. Immediately a change came over the bird. His feathers transformed into scales and his wings and feet into fins! His body became flat and he flopped onto the floor, his eyes slowly moving on his face until they both stared up from the same side of his head!
Poe was shocked with disbelief. He thought that his own drinking of absinthe had caused him to hallucinate the whole incident and threw the bottle into the fire. But then a smile came to his lips as he remembered that old aphorism...