Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Some days i feel like an owl, sitting on a tree, quitely, staring out at the world with its big, round eyes. Not understanding much, just taking it all in, perhaps to process it all some other day. I use to see such an owl often, as a kid in a tree at my neighbours. He used to look so serious and dour, totally without humour. I was terribly scared of him and would run across my neighbour's yard, just so that I did not see him. But, even while running I could not resist looking up to check if he was there and my pace would double, if i spotted him, staring down at me.
Then one day, when we had shifted to a new home, a similar owl, mistook a stuffed deer head, inside the house, for the real thing and it perched itself atop its antlers. He sat there quietly, till he was discovered by a woman who worked in our home. She began to chase him out with the help of two small towels and another servant. She was looking like a large bird herself.
From the safety of my room, I watched the object of my childood terror, itself, lost and terrified and althogether pathetic. Poor guy, himself wanted to go in the open, but lost his bearings, by being chased by a large woman running after him, waving her arms and screaming whoosh-whoosh. I was scared he might have a heart attack or worse still attack the poor woman. If the latter would have happened, i would have been too scared myself to help her. Anyway, he found his way out without any such drama.
Since then, owls don't scare me as much as they use to, though the violent fluttering of any feathered creature will still make my hands clammy and make me run in the opposite direction.
By the way, In European culture, unlike in ours, the owl is supposed to symbolise wisdom.