Saturday, December 02, 2006

My Pet Owl

My pet owl is a virtual owl. She lives on a video screen, in a box. She is always awake. If I select her hooting mechanism she hoots in a syncopated rhythm, staggered by silences. My pet owl perches on a limb of an evergreen tree whose needles are a little bit neon. Over her head and behind her are more branches and needles. My pet owl can turn her head all the way around. She does this if you move your fingers over the sensitive pad. And sometimes she does it on her own. The background behind the owl and the trees is black to indicate night. Owls are nocturnal. Owls are nocturnal and solitary creatures. I know this because my pet owl came with a book about owls. The book is thirty pages long and has a hard, orange cover with a picture of my pet owl on the front. It is called “Owls: The Facts” and it is written by Joyce James, whom I assume is not a real person.

My pet owl is a predator. The reason she can turn her head all the way around is because her eyes are stuck in her head and they can’t move. So the only way for my pet owl to scan for prey is to swivel her head around three hundred degrees.

My pet owl scans for prey but she never leaves her branch.

I wish my pet owl could hunt. Wait—let me check the book and see if my pet owl has a hunting mechanism. Index: hunting. Oh, here we go—page 6. “The owl hunts for small rodents, insects such as moths ...” No, these are just facts about hunting; I want to know if my pet owl can actually get off her branch and kill something, like a mouse. I want to see a mouse get killed! What a rip-off. This thing cost two hundred dollars. And it’s not exactly a playstation. Oh, great, a hooting mechanism. Look, the only reason I wanted this pet was because I wanted something powerful. I thought owls were supposed to be powerful. But maybe that’s just real owls. Well, too bad you can’t get a real owl for a pet. All’s you can get is this stupid virtual owl.

My pet owl is looking at me funny. She looks so real ... that’s the only reason why I got upset. It’s because she looks so real and it’s like she’s trapped in there. I feel like there’s a bond between us. Animal to animal. I’m starting to think my pet owl can read my thoughts. I’m starting to feel our heartbeats lining up. I just know there’s a real owl in there and she’s powerful and she wants to come out and fly over the forests and swoop down and stab a mouse and eat it and digest it and then on soundless wings soar back to me and perch on my shoulder. I know she wants to be my forest partner.

I thought that getting a virtual owl would make me feel stronger, as I’ve been feeling so weak. But now that I’m staring at the powerful animal who could have been my forest partner trapped in a television set I feel worse than ever. I want a real owl! I howl this now. Owl! Real owl! Oh, owl, owl, real owl!


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