This is a post that defies logic, as I suppose you could already tell from the title. But, irrationality only scares me when it’s collective and blindly enforced.
For example, did you know that it’s illegal to possess an owl, dead or alive? Even an owl feather. I thought that was just a rumor, or one of those old, dumb laws that never get enforced and most folks have forgotten about anyway.
That is, until I called our local taxidermist to have one stuffed.
As chance, or synchronicity would have it, we found one dead in our front yard this past week. If you’ve ever seen one that close, and handled one, they are truly gorgeous and remarkable creatures. It looked perfectly healthy and in the prime of its life with no visible injuries or defects.
As chance, or synchronicity would have it, I’ve just been reading about owl symbolism in an interesting book called Lords of the Left-Hand Path: Forbidden Practices and Spiritual Heresies.
Those familiar with such symbolism will surely associate ‘dark magician’ Alister CrOWLy and Bohemian Grove with the owl. For many Christians the association will seem sinister and foreboding. To Satanists, however, the owl is known as the mascot of the sorcerers and a symbol of paranormal wisdom.
Belonging to neither of these faiths, I felt only awe, and deep sadness, as it appears from burns on its talons that it was electrocuted while feeding on a rodent. I revere and honor wildlife and abhor seeing it destroyed, whether accidentally or deliberately. The tears I shed for this beautiful creature are a testament to that fact.
I thought, what way might we honor the life of this magnificent being? I set it on the table, pulled the wings out to their full span, gently cleared a bit of grass from its feathers, and called the taxidermist.
I’ve never wanted or particularly liked mounted animal trophies. But, it just felt wrong to not do something, and I couldn’t think of anything else to do.
The taxidermist on the other end of the line took such a serious tone at my simple question it immediately jarred me.
“I could go to jail!” He meant me, as well as him, and sounded so paranoid I tried to defend myself.
“But we found him dead in the front yard!” I explained again. “What should I do with it then?”
Throw it in the trash was his reply.
He then proceeded to discourage me from calling any other taxidermists lest my loose lips land me in jail.
So, this is how to honor the death of a revered and respected wild predator—throw it in the trash? Yet another brilliant Government mandate, no doubt.
Reminds me of a meme I recently read: “If you think our problems are bad, just wait till you see our solutions.”
If owls really are as wise as the myths make them out to be, I seriously doubt they’re resting in peace.