Every time Crawford caught sight of his ordinary raven's feathers, he wished he looked differently. From the minute he pops out of the egg, Crawford wants to be special. The raven finally gets his wish when an old woman transforms him into a spectacular creature with dazzling feathers. He has a brief spell of glory as the chained fancy of a princess, but all too soon is relegated to a golden cage in an obscure part of the garden. He then pines only for freedom, which he achieves by plucking out his shiny feathers so that the princess, horrified by his ugliness, banishes him. He returns to his friends a wiser bird.