“The moon seems unaware
of night’s dark hitting
on the damp warm rain
misguiding owl’s spitting
A thunder light of love
raising hearts beating
while weather learns more
from rain lovers meeting”
― Munia Khan
When she came to the garden each day, a cacophony of noise began. The mockingbirds and ravens squawked at her but she ignored them. Bella the Great Horned Owl sat on the fountain or high in the mesquite unperturbed by the noise around her. A magnificent queen on her throne.
I had six days with her, six incredible, heartbreaking, soul seeking, weeping days. I am blessed she chose to come here and for that I will be forever grateful. How many can say I had an amazing owl for a friend, a teacher, a soul connection.
Why did she keep returning? Was it because from the first encounter I showed no fear, only astonishment she was here? Or because I asked her that very first day- Are you okay? Are you hurt? She took one long look, as if assessing my worthiness, and flew away. And each day thereafter she returned about the same time. On Sunday, I began to see a change in her; her eyes were not as clear and alert. By Monday, I decided to place a call to Wild at Heart Rescue, a local raptors rescue. A kind gentleman came out and tried to rescue her, but Bella flew away. He told me all I can do now is keep an eye on her because unfortunately we may have to wait until she is weaker.
She returned late that evening and was here Tuesday morning. Again, I did not like the look of her eyes, and I was three feet away from her. I composed a message to the gentleman letting him know she was here, back on the fountain. I checked for her once more before I sent it and she had flown away as if she knew what I was going to do. Later that day the same thing happened; she came back, I thought of calling and she flew away. As if to say, ‘No, this is not how my life is going to end, I’m doing this my way.’
The last time I saw her was mid-day yesterday; sitting on top of the porch light. She did not look well. But she responded to my voice. I stayed with her for awhile, sending her healing light and prayers, whispering her name. I told her how beautiful and fierce she is, I thanked her for allowing me to be a small part of her amazing life. I sent her unconditional love with each tear that fell. She flew away shortly after. She didn’t return last night to her favorite spot on the porch.
This morning I looked for her in all the usual places. No Bella. My husband called to see how I was because he knows me well. While I was on the phone with him, I looked out under the shade of the mesquite tree and there is something lying on the ground. It is Bella, lying face down with her wings forever spread. As if she died flying. She’s passed on to her new home resting on the shoulder of Athena, and Bella is now free from pain. From the moment I saw her and felt the wind from her wings on my face, she captured my heart. A heart that is now consumed with grief over the senseless death of this beautiful creature.
There are no birds singing or fussing because she is here. The garden is heavy with silence this morning.
©2020 Linda Lee Lyberg
Author’s Note: For almost a week, I recently had a daily visit with a Great Horned Owl. I wrote about her several times, and this sadly, is the story. It is highly possible that Bella died from eating a poisoned rat or mouse. I would ask you all to consider carefully before you use rat poison. There are other alternatives that will not set off a chain reaction of death.I am devastated that she is gone but I am forever grateful that she chose to spend her last days with me. For more stories/poems of Bella, you can visit Charmed Chaos
Linda Lee Lyberg is an author, poet, wife, and mother. She resides in Mesa, AZ with her husband Pete (aka The Big Viking) of 23 years and her dog, Ricky Bobby who loves to go real fast. She writes various forms of poetry, as well as short stories. Several of her works have appeared in various anthologies and online literary magazines.
You can read more of her works at: charmedchaos.com and her Amazon Author Page