Yesterday I was telling a friend the owl story, so I’ve gone back to an earlier year to find it to share with you. I have a hankering to be a cartoonist, and this is one of my few attempts.
I love this story; I’ll give a little more detail. Camping in Central Oregon, I climbed out of the tent at 3 am; the moon was half and shining brightly behind me. My hair was a tangle after swimming earlier. I stood for a minute, then turned facing the moon and at just that moment, something flew into my face. “Eek” I said quietly, and Greg from inside the tent asked, “What?” “I think a bat just flew into my face.”
I went off to the restroom and when I returned he asked me, “What did it feel like?” and I told him with my hands – wings enveloping my face and something soft and warm. He said, “That was no bat; that had to be an owl.”
We’ve puzzled over it often and have come to this conclusion: My hair in the moonlight looked like a fur pelt and a tasty treat. The owl was definitely heading directly for me. But when I turned at just the last second and the owl realized its mistake, I can imagine it literally putting on the brakes, talons receding, and running square into me. It didn’t hurt.
As I thought back on it, I could ‘see’ in my memory a bit of a vision of that owl as it approached, lit by moonlight. But I can attest for a fact, owls truly are deadly silent.
I never heard a sound.