Occasionally I will drive into town before work to get donuts for the office. Well, more than occasionally. But not like every week. Maybe twice a month if I'm in the mood and not running late. Today was one of those days when I was actually up and around earlier than normal so I thought I'd make a run to procure some diabetes inducing snacks.
The road into town is a two lane state highway. And when I say highway, it's not crazy-city-madness highway, just the main thoroughfare. Houses on the side of the road, businesses as you get closer to the town center, and cattle pasture with wooded acreage scattered throughout.
I got my twelve-pack of glazed goodness and proceeded to work. On the right side of the road, just on the line between shoulder (btw, our road "shoulders" are more like a 4" strip of crumbly gravel) and main strip, is a hunched up lump of floof. That almost gets blown over when the cars in front of me blow past it. I know what the lump of floof is. Don't ask me how, but I can pick out the type of creature with surprising accuracy even at 55 mph.
An, "OMG!" immediately passed my lips and I pulled into the first spot on the side of the road that wasn't 1) a cliff 2) occupied by a large brahman bull or 3) a farm pond. I jam the car into park, fling the door open and run like a crazed maniac down the side of the road, hoping that I do not end up like the carcass of the long deceased deer in the ditch.....down the hill....probably hit by a car....while running like a crazed deer-maniac down the side of the road.
There, sitting hunched up, and still as could be, is a barred owl. There was a pellet next to her, as well as some poop. I'm assuming that she got hit by a car during a "swoop" and managed not to get run over. Yet.
I slowly put my hands around her wings just in case she wanted to flap away, but she offered zero resistance. I went back to the car as quickly as one possibly could with a small raptor in one's hands while trying to avoid being hit by oncoming traffic or slipping down the embankment.
We make it to the car and lucky for me, there is a donation bag sitting there. My procrastination in getting to The Salvation Army paid off! I hurriedly grab the first soft item in there and wrap the owl up in a pair of sweat pants. Since my vehicle is in a relatively safe spot, I gave her a quick once-over and there did not appear to be any broken bones, blood or missing chunks of flesh or feathers. She was quite still, blinked at me a few times, but not once tried to claw or bite. I wrapped her back up and put her on the front seat while I called the local vet that takes in wildlife.
|A little dazed. See those talons gripping at the fabric??|
|Is that look a "Thank you" or "I'm about to rip your face off" ??|
Luckily, they were going to be open in just twenty minutes so we drove over there. As I was waiting for the vet's office to open, she slowly righted herself and just kind'a stared at me. Of course, I couldn't help but do the babytalk crap all humans do to cute little creatures and pet her sooooo very, very soft feathers.
Once the office opened, I brought her in, but not before she gave me a good "Clack-clacking" of her beak. I "relinquished" her to the vet and made my way back to the office, donuts in hand.
What a great morning.
I'm kind'a hoping that Karma recognizes this small act of kindness by negating the calories in my donut.