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What about the butler?

May 18, 2014

It’s late, a few minutes before midnight.   I think it’s bedtime.  Outside, however, the party’s just getting started.

My house backs up to a swath of woods.  There’s a swampy creek back there, just big enough to keep the mosquito population booming.  All sorts of critters live in that little swath of woods.   Coyotes, foxes, snakes and frogs, squirrels and possums.  I suppose some of them may be heading for bed, too.

But not Mr. Barred Owl.  Nope, Mr. Barred Owl is busy advertising for a girlfriend.

All. night. long.

I hear barred owls in the woods behind the house all the time.  They’re really loud; they can sound as if they’re 30 feet away when they’re actually a quarter-mile off.  They have a distinctive call.  It sounds like: Who cooks for you?…Who cooks for you all?…

Except more owlish, of course.

The cool thing is that you can imitate a barred owl call and start a conversation with one.  Of course, you may be agreeing to a tryst in the live oak tree near the fork in the creek, or perhaps you’re describing the quality of your last pellets.  Who knows? You say “cook”, but the owl may hear “boogie shoes”.  It’s a risk.

If it weren’t for their habit of hollering their fool heads off, I’d likely never know the barred owls are there.  It is exceedingly rare to see one.  And they are eerily silent when they fly.  They were designed for stealth, except for their voices.

I wonder how folks know I’m near?  Is it because they see me?  Or maybe they hear me?  Do they feel me enter the room before they hear or see me?  If I’m quiet, do they know I’m there?

These may sound like odd thoughts, but I know people whom you hear LONG before you see them.  There are those who may enter a room silently but the moment they do, your eyes are drawn to them.  And others you don’t need to see or hear…you can just feel them enter the room.

It’s interesting stuff, you know.  Because people are interesting.  God did a bang-up job designing us.  He did good with the barred owls, too.

I do try to be a better conversationalist than a barred owl.  One can only inquire about other folks’ kitchen help for so long before it becomes tiresome.


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