To embed this, cut and paste the following html into your web page:
It was so long ago, the details fade into myth. It was high summer, maybe even Solstice. The corn had just tasseled and the air was heavy with the sweet musk. Hot. It was hot and still.
I worked second shift at a foundry and was speeding my way home across the prairie.
I don't remember it coming slowly into view. It's as if it simply materialized there in my headlights. As I came even, it twisted it's round, mound of a head all the way around and watched me pass. It had a long stalk of pampas grass in it's beak, so that as it turned, it looked as if it were painting with a giant paint brush. Odd. Puzzling.
Only after I had gone another mile or two did I begin to realize that I had seen something rare. Magical. The beast had met my eyes straight on. Indeed, our eyes had locked through the car window. But that would mean this owl was over four feet tall.
Later, while trying to make sense of it all, I looked up owls in the bird guide. Owls don't grow four foot tall. The largest owl I could find was the Great Gray Owl which ranges in size from 24 to 33 inches with a wing span of 60". But Great Gray Owls don't live on the flat farmlands of the Saginaw Valley.
What did I see that night? Some have suggested it was not a bird but a familiar. A messenger sent from some other world place. I don't know where the Owl came from, but it will be with me forever more.