Friday, April 2, 2010

Other Animals - Part II

Sorry it took me so long to write this next part – I was catching up on lost sleep.

Once we realized it was the owls, we started seeing them every night and hearing them through the day. Much like ghosts. I’m not saying the owls were like ghosts (they were, but I’m not making that point HERE.) I’m saying, it’s like when the protagonist (usually a young, pretty single mother in those movies we watch through the cracks in our fingers all the time) finally REALIZES there’s a ghost in the house that the ghost seems to gain in confidence and does its thing. Similarly my owls.

So now with our eyes newly opened to the owl situation; we saw them grunt and wheeze all night and day on our windowsills or on our balcony and wheel about overhead. I thought owls were dignified loners but these were ‘party till we drop’ owls on STEROIDS.

“Dude, that note you hit on C Major is SICK. Can you teach me how to DO that??”


“Ha-ha (sniff). That reverb is AWESOME.”

“Hey, a little birdie told me this chubby human has a meeting tomorrow morning. Shall we leave her alone and party on some other balcony tonight?

(Raucous avian laughter)

“Yeah RRRIGHT! Where’s the beer??”

And so on.

But we started to get used to it, and would tsk-tsk resignedly much like an elderly couple with a bunch of gregarious single people next door.

That was of course until our guests came. (Humans).

While one guest looked startled when he saw me walking around one afternoon, and exclaimed,“You’re awake! What’s that noise? I thought all day yesterday that it was you snoring!” (Which was offensive on several levels. First of all that I would snore that loud, and that he thought I’d slept all day when I palpably had not.)

I warned another guest too late and she spent the first night wide awake, wondering if one of us was having fits of some sort, or if the flat was haunted; and in agonies of indecision on what to do in each case.

Just as, it seems, we learnt to drift off to sleep accompanied by the wheezing and hootings of ‘our owls’; one day it just stopped. “The owls are quiet today” we said the first day and several days after that, craning our necks out the window to see if we could spot one.

And that was that. It’s been over a month now that they’ve gone, and for all the complaining we did about our owls, we kinda miss them now.

Nothing like a posse of owls to brighten the workaday lives of a city couple. I take comfort in the fact that they’re out there somewhere keeping other people awake and poohing on their windowsills in some other neighbourhood, or state. And perhaps they think of us sometimes.

Perhaps they do, and will turn up again sometime in the future, to give us a sleepless night or two.