• jdettmann

Owl Be Watching You


A small army of owls


Mysterious things never happen to me. Well, almost never. There was the incident with the Russian stalker who stole my clothes for a while (a post for another day). But most of the time, I just potter on, knowing mostly who is at the end of the phone line because I have their number saved, and rarely finding anonymous gifts on my doorstep.

My friend Sarah, on the other hand, is in the midst of a Toilet-Roll Owl Gift Infestation. It’s nicer than it sounds.

When she returned from a two-week work trip on the third of this month, on her front porch Sarah found two owls made from the cardboard tubes around which toilet paper is rolled. While shutting the front window that day she found a third. Since then they have been appearing on her doorstep every couple of days. There are now 19 of them. Yesterday she noticed the two latest arrivals are numbered 19 and 20, so she assumes one has flown away somewhere along the line.

Each is different and, I think, quite sweet. They’re sort of like the Chinese terracotta warriors, if Noni from Play School had been in the artist-in-residence of the Qin Dynasty.

Sarah doesn’t know who is making and leaving the owls. As her birthday is at the end of the month, she suspects that by the thirtieth she will have thirty of them, but will her mysterious avian benefactor reveal his or her identity? Several people have suggested it might be a secret admirer, but Sarah’s trying not to get too attached to that idea in case its just one of her mates. Good luck, I say. Exciting possibilities like that are pretty tough to keep a lid on. I’m sure if it were me and I weren’t married to H, who is basically beyond perfection*, I’d have dreamed up some pretty unlikely and fabulous  candidates. I’d probably be about seventy per cent sure it was Robert Downey Jr or Jarvis Cocker, and I’d have worked out an elaborate scenario in which that was possible.

Maybe it is Robert Downey Jr! And Jarvis Cocker! It’s the kind of thing they’d do. Maybe they get together with David Tennant to make toilet roll owls for the secret objects of their affection. There’s no evidence to the contrary. Stay tuned for the big reveal, if it ever happens. It might just remain a mystery.

On the subject of owls, did you know that lots of owls are dying because they eat rats that have been poisoned? Every owl on earth eats between two and six mice or rats a day, and if they eat one that has been poisoned they die. Poor owls. Use mousetraps instead, or make the mice or rats that are bothering you watch Midsomer Murders  until they are bored to death.

*Beyond perfection lies imperfection again. I dwell there also.

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