Moon Prince

2004 December 26
by David J. Ringer

GREENE CO., MO. — The sky blazed with colors whose names I do not know. The water snatched at them, broke them into millions of pieces, and shimmered with glee. Ducks came from all directions, gathering for the long dark night. They whistled overhead in twos and emerged from the sunset in lines and bunches. They preened and mingled on the water. A Pileated Woodpecker called from the other shore, then came, rowing through the air in regal black and white. The ducks kept coming.

The moon appeared in the gray east, immense and orange. It hung like an enormous ripe fruit, ready to fall — or perhaps, alone with thinnest clouds across its face, it stood like the last lord of a great and noble race, a mighty race that saw dreadful things — and was no more.

I looked for owls as I drove. Light was fading rapidly, but my eye caught a huge silhouette flapping, trying to land on a slender branch at the top of a hedgerow tree. I slammed on my brakes in the middle of the road and raised my binoculars as quickly as I could, afraid I would lose the chance. It was, it was — yes! — a Great Horned Owl!

A helpful pull-off presented itself, so I got out of the road to stare at the owl. A songbird bounced around in protest of its presence, but the owl did not pay either of us any mind. It surveyed the territory regally, alert and almost disdainful. After only a moment, it pitched forward and was off, huge, silent, powerful, and disappeared across the road, flying toward the great orange moon.

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One Response
  1. Sunoose permalink
    April 2, 2005

    A Great Horned Owl. . .I’ve always wanted to see one! Alas, I have really never seen ANY owl! However, I always wish I may, someday.

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