Have you ever heard a great horned owl laugh? Probably not, and you can chalk that up as a positive in your book. Native American legends state that if you hear the laugh of a great horned owl, then you are a pawn in a joke larger than you can recognize.
I recognized why Bubo was laughing last night.
For the past month I have been building a flying machine in the shed in the garden. In between the digging equipment and the jars of seeds, I’ve been hammering and bolt-tightening and following intricate blueprints that I drew up over the winter months. Last night’s gentle winds and clear skies seemed the perfect night for a test flight.
If you are about to attempt to fly, and nature has not intended you to fly, do not attempt it in front of a bird. They are brutally arrogant about their flying ability.
As they should be, they do it quite well. And it looks effortless, doesn’t it?
Perhaps I should have started on the roof of the house, but I didn’t want to be spotted by neighbors, should there be any midnight promenades going on. Instead I chose the roof of the shed, which – while not nearly high enough – is under cover of thick trees and I was certain I could quickly get enough lift.
I was wrong. It seems my fall knocked me unconscious and when I woke my goggles were askew and my ankle was smarting impressively. The flying machine sustained minor damage as well. I am not concerned so much about my ego – an inventor learns to be humble at an early stage – but Bubo is insufferable in this type of situation.
You see, I had ignored a change she’d made on the blueprint. A change that might have altered last night’s un-flight.
Most great horned owls are as good with a pencil as a man is with wings. Unfortunately, Bubo has beautiful penmanship. And she’s rather a whiz at math as well.
This whiskey will help ease the pain in my ankles and help me ignore her self-satisfied twitters.