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An owl

Driving into town today, I noticed a kickball-sized pile of unfamiliar road-kill feathers. I couldn't tell what it was, but on the way back home, I stopped for a look. As I approached, I thought it might be a hawk, but when I bent over to look, I saw it was an owl.

I live on the outskirts of the outskirts of town. Every winter, deer practically ring my doorbell as they munch on my shrubs. I've had an opossum in the garage, a groundhog digging a burrow right up against my house's foundation, skunks in the front yard, a fox walking down the middle of the road out front, wild turkeys crossing the road a few hundred yards from home—you get the idea. But I've never seen an owl around here.

In fact, I've only seen three owls in my lifetime, and all of them were great horned owls. I saw two of them perched in trees beduring separate trout fishing jaunts, and the other was on a tree branch in town. Great horned owls are about the size of fire hydrants, and I'm not exaggerating (much), and when they fix their eyes on you, they're more than a little spooky.

This owl was much smaller, though—a barred owl, I'm guessing, but I didn't look it over for identifying marks. All I noticed was the feathers, a sonata of browns and beiges. I thought it deserved a resting place somewhere other than the shoulder of the road, so I picked it up—it was surprisingly light—and carried it across the road, where the land slopes away. I picked my way into the weeds as far as I could and then placed the owl on the ground, its head lying above its tail, just in case some of its spirit was still trapped in its body and needed a quick way out.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Dec. 6th, 2013 05:00 am (UTC)
Thank you for stopping and taking care of it.
t.
penshark
Dec. 6th, 2013 05:15 am (UTC)
Beautiful and very sad. Thanks for giving the owl a better resting place.
sahlah
Dec. 6th, 2013 12:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you for honoring this fellow being.
nodressrehersal
Dec. 7th, 2013 11:16 pm (UTC)
So kind of you to take the time to do that. Good karma coming your way.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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