They're like Birds of Prey V2.0 - I mean, your average Eagle, marvellous bird, don't get me wrong, can pick up a sheep and carry it back to the nest and feed it to its young, you don't get blackbirds doing that do you? But an owl, any old owl (with the possible exception of those tiny ones that live in holes in the ground) could do all that... Only silently - It could do it before the sheep / lizard / haddock had even woken up. One second the prey's having a lovely dream about grass or tapioca or something , the next it's torn up into chunks and being swallowed by something that looks a little bit like a transvestite zombie ET.
Weird thing that, owls are one of the few things in the animal kingdom that have ugly babies, I mean, I like owls... A lot, but you happen upon a nest of owlets when you're out for a stroll in the countryside and the whole 'Kill it with fire' instinct kicks in - They also smell incredibly bad and make a noise not unlike Satan with his Man-danglies caught in a revolving door.
We used to have a resident owl at Dandy Towers, there are photos of him on my Facebook page for my stalkers to take a look at. His name was Twist and he was frighteningly bi-polar. Incredible bird though, beautiful plumage. A European Barn Owl, who would sit, imperiously in the corner of the kitchen like a judgemental biscuit tin, watching you with his cold, dead, sharks eyes - right up until the point where he deemed you below his contempt and closed them. Ever been ignored by an owl? it does nothing for your self esteem.
This is the Owl in question, sat on the Mini-Dandy's head, some years ago
Owls are not the perfect indoor pet, they eject their waste from both ends with unpleasant speed, accuracy and regularity. They seem to void the bodily fluids of their food seperate to everything else and that is not a sight, or smell that you quickly get used to. But if you persevere, they can become merely incredibly troublesome rather than a right-royal pain in the rear.
They're nice to take out for a walk though, they'll sit on your shoulder quite happily, or more likely on your head - And you'll get a lot of attention. In fact, I once got stopped by a couple of WPCs when I was out with the owl and one of the rottweillers - Once all the coo-ing and the aww-ing had died down (It helped that the Rottie was particularly cute too) one of the uniforms turned to me and said,
'I bet you don't get mugged very often'
The owl took this as her cue to flap the short distance from my shoulder to my head, and relieve herself down the back of my neck. This did not do wonders for my already limited appeal to the opposite sex and they quickly continued on their patrol avec le grande vitesse.
If you Google the word 'Owls', pretty much every picture of a real owl that appears has an implied tag of 'Owl thinks: I will kick your ass'; and the ones that don't, look as if they suffer with some fairly severe mental retardation, this does nothing to assuage their general air of ass-kickery as they can now be filed under psychotic predators with inch long claws and no remorse.
They can do unnatural stuff too - Everyone and their rabbit knows about the whole head spinning 'round like Linda Blair watching speedway, but did you know that most of them can turn their heads upside-down too? Some of them can make one of their front toes point backwards to create inescapable double talons of tearing - Although they're not all conquering instruments of death of course, otherwise we'd all be speaking owlese and living in holes in trees - They've been given a couple of disabilities just to keep them in their place - They have no peripheral vision and their ears aren't on straight.
Despite all this, I would have one again quicker than you can stir fry a possum, this time I might have something a little bigger, maybe a Great Grey or an Eagle (Owl) - Something I could fit a saddle on, or at least have a half-suit of armour made for.
I'd call him Trevor