crow stick

crow stick n [EDD (at crow sb.1 2.(29), from Devonshire); in allusion to the sort of sticks used by crows to build their nests ] chiefly NEast obs?

A small, irregular stick of wood.

1823 Boston Daily Advt. (MA) [11 May 3]/2, [Advt:] Proposals will be received . . for supplying the following Military Posts with Fuel. . . The kind of Wood to be sound and merchantable, . . excluding all crow sticks. 1834 Evangelical Mag. & Gospel Advocate 5.297/1 NY, Justice as effectually sweeps away the traditionary system of an imaginary endless hell, as the mighty rushing torrent bears away upon its bosom . . the empty, floating crow-sticks that fall upon its surface. 1859 Athens Post (TN) [28 Oct 3]/4, [Advt:] The subscriber wishes to purchase 25 Loads Hickory Wood—good Wood, not “bean poles and crow sticks.” 1879 Jewett Old Friends 255 ME, He . . began to chop up the small white-pine sticks and brush which form the summer fire-wood at the farm-houses,—crow-sticks and underbrush, a good deal of it,—but it makes a hot little blaze while it lasts. 1887 New Engl. Farmer (Boston MA) 1 Jan 6/2, We told him we could and would manage somehow for fuel and provisions, if we had to burn ‘crow-sticks’ from the pasture lot.