We have a cat, a dog, a wolf, a shark, a crocodile, a panda bear, a dragon, and umpteen other potential predators that would make that bird into a Kentucky Fried Owl with French fried potatoes on the side!
I know I exaggerate in order to make a point. But quite seriously I was reluctant to accept responsibility for someone else's pet. It reminds me of the day someone left a stick insect for me to look after. It was in a glass tank. One day it did not move at all. I thought it was natural for it not to move. It fell off its branch inside the glass tank. I glued it back on. It still did not move. When its owner came back he told me it was dead.
By the way, do you know what to call a collection of stick insects? A branch!
Another by the way. Did you know the panda bear is actually a bear? As a bear it was carnivorous. It ate meat. Then one day it decided to eat bamboo. Bamboo is difficult to digest. It has little nutritional value. Hence the pandas have to eat a lot of it. Pandas are extinct or endangered or whatever you call a stubborn animal who will not eat what he was created to eat. Tell that to someone who decides to become vegetarian.
Back to the owl. I thought they'd bring it in a cage. It came sitting, or half-standing on a luxurious velvet cushion. It had injured its leg and could not grip a branch which is the natural thing to do. So they put it on a cushion. It had little crutches under its wings to keep it upright.
It just sat there not moving much. Every so often it turned its head round. They can turn their heads almost 340 degrees you know. It did not do much. It sat there and did not even fly.
Obviously, we could not leave it alone in an open non-cage. I saw the cat and the dog drawing lots as to who would eat it first.
We took it with us wherever we went from room to room, never leaving it alone. I did not like the way it looked at me when I undressed. Owls are predators you know! They attack and eat small things!
They have binocular visions and binaural hearing. This means they have eyes up front and can focus on a three-dimensional image and attack it. The same with their hearing. They can focus exactly where the sound is coming from. They don't make trousers with silent zippers you know!
When we left the house we always took him with us. We took him to the cinema. We thought he would not like the theatre. They had a play on about owls and we thought it would not be appropriate.
I bet you cannot name any plays about, or involving, owls. There's the one where they sing, "Owl be seeing you, in all the familiar places!"
Anyway, we took the owl to the cinema instead. A film called Kestrel was on.
I put the owl on my shoulder and pretended he was a pirate. He already had the crutches under his wings. So I gave him an eye-patch and he played the part admirably. The cinema people let us in.
My wife had a carrot on her shoulder. She pretended to be a vegetarian pirate.
I was glad when our friends came back from holiday and took their owl back. When I told them we took him to the cinema they laughed.
What a hoot! The owl laughed too. That was a hoot and a half!