"If providence did beards devise,
To prove the wearers of them wise,
A fulsome goat would then, by nature,
Excel each other human creature." - Thomas D'Urfey

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quinnahl and the Night Visitor

When you are a herding dog, well, that's what you tend to do...herd. So it came as no surprise to the goatmother when she flipped on the outside light to let the Mighty Quinn out last night and he took off into the darkness chasing something. But this was no ordinary something. This something was very large with even larger wings. Of course Cabra had to dash out right behind him. It wasn't much of a problem except that the huge winged thing was taken by complete surprise and almost didn't make it off the ground. Well, it did manage to fly off...or so we thought.

In truth it just flew up into the birch tree. However it was dark and the great bird blended in so well that the goatmother almost didn't see him up there. Woe be unto small dogs who do not remain vigilant. As it was, though, the goatfather brought out the flashlight and they proceeded to shine a light on it. Whatever the reason, I guess it didn't think it could carry the Cabrarator off. I mean she has gained some weight lately what with it being the holidays and all. Happens to the best of us. Just ask Boo.

Anyway, the owl was one of the two specimens you see below. We can't be sure which because, naturally, it was dark. So it goes without saying that the goatmother did not take either of these two pictures. Anyway, the first specimen is the rare Spotted Owl. This is a possibility since the road behind us is named Spotted Owl. As point of fact, the only way to really tell the difference between the Spotted Owl and the owl pictured after it, the Barred Owl, is that the 'stripes' on the chest of the Spotted Owl go across while the 'stripes' on the chest of the Barred Owl go up and down. Well, no one really got that close. And besides, it was DARK.

Now both of these owls are very large. The Spotted Owl is somewhere between 18 - 19 inches and has a wingspan of somewhere between 42 to 43 inches. The Barred Owl is normally around 17 inches and has a wingspan of 45 inches! Quinn can tell you it could have been either one. But all he cared about was chasing it and apparently he didn't stop to look at which way the stripes on the chest went either. Well, maybe he did, but he sure isn't telling. We are, however, extremely thankful he didn't catch the visitor since he most likely would have come out on the short end of that candy cane.

The Spotted Owl.

The Barred Owl.

In the end, the owl flew off and the Mighty Quinn chased him all the way to the road. I'm sure he thinks he did a great thing, but the reality is that the owl probably just got bored with those stupid people shining lights and trying to take pictures of him in the DARK. Oy.

Amahl: "What is that?
Kaspar: Eh?
Amahl: What is that?
Kaspar: A parrot.
Amahl: Does it talk?
Kaspar: Eh?
Amahl: Does it talk?
Kaspar: How do I know?
Amahl: Does it bite? " - From Amahl and The Night Visitor.


Barbee' said...

Oh, my! I was on the edge of my chair while reading this one. So glad it had a happy ending and no blood was shed!

Turbo the Sibe said...

My Human thought for years that that particular owl was called the Bard Owl; like he was a brilliant writer like Shakespeare!

Marigold said...

Dear Turbo,
Who knows? It might be possible. After all, who would've thought a goat could be a philosopher?