Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pet owl's chief occupation

Mumble's most constant occupation, from which all other pastimes were temporary distractions, was simply observing. Her job, her hobby, her passion was watching things—which is hardly surprising, given her place in the natural order. From her various preferred vantage points around the flat she kept constant surveillance over her environment, and when she detected any hint of sound or movement her evaluation of it was presumably based on the central question of any carnivore's existence: Can I jump on it, or is it going to jump on me? 

If it was small and mobile (which, in a seventh-floor flat, meant it was an insect), then it could travel only a matter of inches before Mumble arrived like a Stuka; but if it sat still, being enigmatic, then she might settle down to out-stare it. This balancing of boldness and caution in the face of the unrecognized cannot have been learned in her own short, prtected lifetime, so it was clearly part of her genetic inheritance.
Martin Windrow, The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014), p. 214

No comments:

Post a Comment