Owl haibun


November 14, 2017 by petrujviljoen

We grew up with one as a pet. A barn owl came to us as a chick, grew into adulthood, then left. We hoped it was because he found a mate. It was a free bird, never caged, never tied to post.

Where I am now a pair of eared brown owls have a nest way down in the gorge. I listen for their call at night. Reassured when I hear them. One night, already in bed getting ready to sleep one of them called right by my window. I jumped it was such a surprise.

I’ve written before about the owl on the fence. I was having the customary glass of wine outside on the steps, while watching the sunset.

I wrote a short story wherein an owl featured large.

As an art student, still in the city, a display of caged birds diverted us from lunch for a short while. We grouped around an eagle owl whose eyes were closed – then opened. It turned its head 180°, singling me out with a stare that lasted a long time.

et tu Petru?

Group stirs, shifts and leaves



Image result for big eared brown owl south africa



Linked to Dverse Poets


37 thoughts on “Owl haibun

  1. bethanyk says:

    I had no idea! Or I forgot! I adore the time I had with my owl. I still hear her in the distance. A hawk has come to visit now

  2. E says:

    Ok I’ve re-read and all I’m seeing is the clever verbal eyebrow raise of your totem friend.

  3. And you bought the owl and set it free. That’s how I end this story.

  4. E says:

    et tu Petru?- brilliant and sweet. Hoo hoo 🙂

  5. How wonderful to have owls around you…. I would love to see one of these huge owls…

  6. Frank Hubeny says:

    Nice description of the surprise to hear the owl by the window. I don’t recall ever hearing them, but I probably wouldn’t know if I did.

  7. You have a remarkable connection with owls. Feeling a bit envious.

    • Each encounter were many years apart. Since living in the country I’ve both seen and heard the resident owls more often. They’re amazing birds. The silence of their flight is awesome. I don’t really believe all the stuff attributed to them. A study of owls show how caring they are towards their young, how unperturbed they can be and so on.

  8. julespaige says:

    You have reminded me of my own owl adventure. I wrote about it somewhere, but it was years ago. A young owl trying to climb up a tree during the day! I spoke with it for a bit and then let it go… such a beautiful bird.

    • A young owl trying to climb a tree! Too wonderful! People speak of dumb animals – it’s so wrong!

      • julespaige says:

        I think it was a young owl. I’m sure being awake in the day was different for it… and when it saw me coming… but then I stopped several feet away so as not to be threatening.

        • Something must’ve happened for it to be awake, but then I’ve heard tell of daytime owls. So it tried climbing the tree when it saw you? It must’ve been a young one if it didn’t try and fly. I saw a young eagle trying to catch a baby monkey some while ago. Foolish bird. The monkeys had it in such a fluster after a while it just sat there on the ground, not trying to fight back or fly or anything. I laughed my head off!

        • julespaige says:

          I saw to red-tail hawk destroy a squirrel nest – but the squirrel got away. Some days the prey wins and other days they don’t. 🙂

  9. lillian says:

    How wonderful to have grown up in the presence of an owl. I have always been fascinated by them — their amazing swivel heads, their saucer eyes…and their beautiful wingspans. Truly amazing creatures!

  10. Truedessa says:

    The direct contact with you is a message for sure. I once went to an event at our local library that had brought birds in from a local sanctuary, long story short there was an owl and it flew and landed on a chair next to me. I was fascinated by his presence. It was deep and mystical. The stare is haunting as if looking into ones soul. You shared a connection.

    • Wow! I have lately tried not to burden the animals and birds around me, ascribing meaning which they have no idea of. But sometimes an oddness happens and one is almost foolish not to take note.

  11. Sabio Lantz says:

    Hmmm, interesting story, but was expecting a Haiku at the end.

  12. Sumana Roy says:

    Oh I love your pet owl & all your owl connections. Wish the pet returned some day with its family.

    • I’ve heard tell of owls and other birds and animals that would visit their adopted human family for a show and greeting but I don’t remember it happening in this instance.

  13. X says:

    how cool to have so much a connection to owls-seeing them so often. I have seen them few and far between. Always a treat.

    To have the owl look so deep into you would be at once so unsettlung and fascinating.

    Thanks for the warm welcome.

  14. zeesbees says:

    Gelees hoe spesiaal is dit as die Uil jou “spirit-animal” is… en mense wat hulle hele kuns basies om die tema bou… Die absolute wysheid van ‘n uil in die natuur bly besonders….bly die het by jou kom…vlerksleep x

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