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I heard the owl call

My dog! Little Tinkerbell and I were sitting in front of the fire last night, when we heard a doleful hooting outside. When I got up to investigate, opening the back screen door, Tink bolted out.

As my little Chorkie (that's a Yorkie and Chihuahua mix) sniffed around the yard, following the trail of some chickens she had chased earlier in the week, I stood on the porch and kept listening.

As I tuned in, a pattern in the song became clear:

hoo hoo HOO hoo hoo. Over and over. "How lovely," I mused, as I watched little Tink's reflective vest skitter around the yard. Then another voice, slightly higher, joined in the same pattern:

hoo hoo HOO hoo hoo. Hmm. Sounded like a dialogue?

I recalled the "classic" 1970's book about a vicar doing ministry in British Columbia that my friend had recommended to me when I took this position in Gibsons,. The book, written by Margaret Craven in 1968 (and very dated in its understanding of intercultural relations) is called:

"I heard the Owl Call My Name".

hoo hoo HOO hoo hoo hoo hoo HOO hoo hoo

In the book, the hooting of the great horned owl was meant to signify someone's impending death, in this case the vicar's (spoiler alert!). I don't think these owls cared about me, though. My small, brown dog, who looks somewhat like a fox or a rabbit, perhaps. "Good girl, Tink!" I yelled. "Come on in now. NOW!"

Safely in bed that night, I looked up the types of owls found in these here woods. It could have been a Bard Owl, granted. (And I don't mean Shakespeare). But the drama queen in me conjured up images of a Great Horned Owl, showing off for his girlfriend, sharpening his talons and then diving in for the kill. I shuddered and pulled Tinkerbell toward me in the covers.

This is the wilderness, after all. Farming is dangerous work; small animals, like chickens, ducks and even dogs sometimes fall prey to an owl, eagle or coyote. Best be more careful from here on out! We're all just trying to survive after all. Owl's gotta do what an owl's gotta do.

Just not with my puppy, please!

Sleep well, gentle reader. Hold your pets close.

Yours in the wild



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