More on Mr. and Mrs. Owl whoo are soon to become founding members of Swallows Nest Inc
Now if you scroll back a couple of pages I will try to pick up where I left off , I do this for several reasons not the least of which is in retrospect it’s funny as hell, but also because I miss them so.
Now as mentioned in the last post I had left my snowshoes at the nest site, not through forgetfulness but from I’ve got to save my ass stark terror, there are simply no words to describe the Shock and Awe that Mr. Owl instilled in me. Like I got my ass kicked. By a two pound ball of feathers and fury.
Now for any other human bird it would have been enough to have survived but as I said I am as stubborn as an Ox, so the next thing to do was study some more on owls behavior, which at the time had not been altogether hospitable. Like the welcome wagons wheels had come off and it had hit the ditch or snow. Depending on you point of view, from a bystanders point must have been a Hoot (pun intended).
Any Hoos back in the safety of my Owl proof cabin ,heart racing I went back to the books and found out that people who study Owls and other really fucking dangerous birds use helmets and lots of protective gear like heavy leather gloves, silly me for thinking otherwise, but I still had a pocketful of dead mice a plan had to be made . The wheels were turning the gears were grinding, Yes I could do this noble albeit stupid thing I had the technology I had the equipment I had the will, I would succeed.
I formulated a plan I would use my spare snow shoes big Algonquin buggers great for caring cargo over flat land not so good down a 30% slope but what the hell.
The next morning
I put on my heavy sheep shin parka, a pair of heavy welding gloves, and a snowmobile helmet grabbed my big snowshoes and went out side (dam forgot the mice) back inside to get said mice. Now I was ready for any jealous male, Owl or otherwise. God I’m going courting and I must have looked a site.
So off I trudge to the edge of the lawn, and there it is the 30% slope. Like I said Algonquin snowshoes are great for flat snow but not worth a shit on a slope. Well I take the first step and wheeee I might just as well used a toboggan. Ass over tee kettle all the way down bouncing off of Oak trees, BTW oak trees don’t move. Fast forward, bottom of hill still alive and looking only slightly stupid but still a man on a mission.
Now for some words of advice when using snow shoes always carry a walking stick or a ski pole for it is almost impossible to get up without one if you fall down, needless to say in my haste to woo the Owls I had forgotten mine. It was not a pleasant site.(fast forward) quick dead mouse check yep all accounted for, only 50 meters(that’s Canadian for yards) to go. And no not the yards that you live on this is a unit of measurement for us hicks north of the 49th.
Trudge trudge trudge finally at bottom of Owl tree, and yes I removed the snow shoes again and started up the ladder, reached the top and there she was the object of my quest sitting there in all her majesty like a Queen on her throne. I looked around for Mr. Owl he was nowhere to be seen so I flipped up the face shield on my helmet, and said Hello Mrs. Owl. She just stared at this strange apparition who had appeared before her somehow strangely familiar, and yet the fool who had appeared before her yesterday had looked somehow different. It might have been the helmet it might have been the sheepskin parka or it might even have been the welders gloves, but I tend to think it was the last time she had seen me I was falling shit over knuckles and running for my life.
Never the less here I was , and as any good guest I reached into my pocket and presented my gift (so it wasn’t a bottle of Channel No 5) she could have used it ,more of this in a later post. It was a dead Mouse pretty classy eh? Like when’s the last time someone came up and offered you a dead mouse?She eyed the mouse then she eyed me, nudged the mouse and gulp it was gone, dam I was home free with this chick.. However things were about to change, as hubby was on his way home.And home he came, with a vengeance, he hit the back of my helmet dropping his hard earned mouse in the process, this I believe only pissed him off more as he beat me about the head and shoulders with a ferocity that I had never before seen , his attack was unrelenting as he soared and swooped down to the attack.
I however was well protected in my not so medieval suit of armor, and I allowed him to burn himself out, which thankfully he did after what seemed like only an eternity.
After the initial attack was over he resigned himself to sit on a branch not more than three feet away never taking his beautiful but full of hate eye’s off of me, always ready at a moments notice to resume the attack, whatever the consequences might be. I had to respect this magnificent creature who for the first time in his life had gone up against an adversary twenty times his size whom he could not drive off and yet he stayed, ready to die to protect his mate and nest. This I thought was indeed a bird of honor, and worthy of the utmost respect. I also felt some sense of shame and humility wondering if I too, would have had such courage.
Having pondered this for a moment I wondered what I could do to show him that I was not the enemy , and meant him nor his family any harm. I decided on a plan of action and with that thought in mind I descended the ladder and retrieved what I had thought to be a mouse that he had dropped during the attack. As it turned out it was not a mouse at all but a fine red squirrel, a fitting prize indeed for his most beautiful mate. Much better I thought than the crummy mice I had brought. Picking up the Squirrel again, I climbed the ladder upon reaching the top I took a leap of faith (no not back into the snow been there done that). However I flipped up my face shield and said Hello Mr. Owl I believe that you dropped this while you were welcoming me to your wonderful home, and as a quest with only honorable intentions I feel that it is only right that I return this fine prize to you. He just stared, as did Mrs. Owl. I then, placed the prize on the branch that he was perched on. Again he just stared. Wondering what manner of beast is this?
Many minutes passed as I admired these two wonderful and somewhat confused creatures, always ready at a moments notice to flip down my face shield as my face was my only vulnerable part, just in case Mr. Owl decided that I had outworn my not so welcome presents.
Then after many more minutes of mutual reflection the most wonderful and I must say unexpected thing happened. For the first time since my appearance Ms. Owl turned her head away from me looked at her mate and gave a gentle hoot he however paid no attention she hooted again and shuffled around on the nest as if to say Well you going to bring me that Squirrel or do I have to get it myself? Then for the first time he turned his head and glanced at his mate then back at me, she hooted again and after a few moments he seemed to come to a decision. Perhaps this otherworldly creature could be endured for a short time longer as he was sure it could be driven off if only he were to apply himself more forcefully as he had done to the fool yesterday. Although this leviathan in no way resembled the chickenshit that he had driven off so successfully the day before and yet there was something familiar about this creature.
Perhaps it was time for him to ,to take a leap of faith, and with that thought in mind he gracefully bent down and picked up the squirrel in his beak and with hardly a flutter of wings jumped onto the nest besides his mate and offered her his prize. She took it in an instant and proceeded to tear it apart as if I weren’t even there. I felt at that moment that something very special had happened and it was time for me to take my leave and allow them to finish lunch such as it was. With that I reached into my pocket and placed the remaining five dead mice on the edge of the nest and bid them farewell telling them that I would return in the morning weather permitting.
I climbed down the ladder put on my snowshoes, picked up the spare pair and headed up the hill feeling a sense of joy and wonder. I knew I was well on my way to making new friends in my new home. However I still had traps to set and I mustn’t dawdle. For like they say mice is where you find them, I also plinked a few squirrels that I was sure to please. I then sat back with a bottle of wine to reflect on the day’s adventures which I thought with only a few minor setbacks had gone well indeed. I was content.
Next time just a bump on the head