As Told by Andrew James Murdoch Stephen
I am a desert wanderer, struck half mad in my loneliness and confusion. I am plagued by a constantly parched throat and my insatiable hunger. I am lost and lonely and feel very, very sorry for myself in my miserable state. I am sure that I am far better off to die.
Wait……What is this I hear? From far away I hear the plaintive echoing crys of some owl, rising and falling from far off in the distance. I soon chanced upon a vast deep canyon, one so deep and frightening that every one of my hairs stood on end. A horrible wind tunnel raged inside and at the canyon’s very bottom below, waters raced and ravaged the canyon’s slick sandy sides, widening the canyon a hundred fold before my very eyes. That in turn made the powers of the wind a hundred fold stronger yet.
I, a sad and lonely man peered over the top lip of the canyon in total fascination for it was from here that I heard those unworldly plaintive echoing crys. I soon saw the speck of a tiny arctic owl struggling to break free of the ensnaring raging wind tunnel that would soon see him caught and plummetted to the grips of the nasty raging water far below, to be carried off with the sands that in turn were carried away from the sides of the canyon.
I, the sad wanderer continued to watch, totally engrossed and absorbed for the longest while, easily two or three settings and risings of the cold moon and hot sun, my own worries long and far behind me as my every being and thoughts watched the pained rise and fall of that exhausted arctic owl.
He continued to wage his life and death battle to break free of the devil’s own sinister grasp of the deadly canyon. The winds raged on and roared, deafening me even from my position of safety. My eyes were seared and the roots of my unkept hair ached from being blown far back for so long….
Finally after what could have only been but the arctic owl’s last deperate effort, he was able to break free from the clutches of the unworldly powers of the devil’s wind. Barely managing to extricate himself, he struggled over the lip of the canyon. Gasping and tremoring, he paused at the top to regain his strength…..
He was not very far from me and I in my frozen awe was totally still. He was such a small fluffy bird to have waged such a long and heroic struggle, God! How cruel the fates are to have stricken such a small pretty bird! And a tiny, fluffy black eyed arctic owl at that! He did not even have so much as a solitary feather, wearing only his glossy white down and with the exceptions of the brilliant gold that encircled both his eyes, he was as magnificient and black as full moon night’s shadow….
Ever so slowly I inched over to him and ever slower yet, I knelt down to craddle him in my arms. Amazingly he was now already rested, his tiny heart racing like any normal bird’s. His enormous shiny eyes blinked up at me over mischieviously and then POOF! He was gone!
It was then that it dawned on me that I no longer had my worries, fear or sadness around me. Suddenly the directions and answers I had long saught came to me and very soon after I was able to wander out of that accursed desert, never ever to return.
But I shall always thank and cherish my memories of that brave arctic owl…….