In the painting the heroine looks at the crows, one of which is cawing from the cornice. She asks it to fly away and bring news of her lover. If her lover returns home safely, she promises to have its beak gilded in reward for its services.
“If my desire be fulfilled, on hearing the news you bring,
I shall make your beak to be plated with silver, I shall give you to eat a ladle of excellent churl mixed with sugar and ghi,
Let me behold Tula Ram while yet I live, but bring him not only for a single hour!
If you have seen my Lord a-coming home, then fly away from the cornice, thou crow!”