From: John Mayberry Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2006 11:47 AMIt's a sweet, ultimately heart-breaking story. People like this convince me that it's the Divinity we carry within that allows us to recognize our oneness with the rest of life, and create small, peaceable kingdoms of rescue and domestication. Because we carry that spark, we can teach great predators to learn our communications and accept our jesses, and teach mortal enemies to live together in affection. And every evil act we commit against ourselves and our fellow creatures, we redeem with acts like the one linked to above. It is the miracle of our existence that the experience of hell brings out not only the worst in us, but also the best.
Ms. Miller--I fear we were too long in addressing the wing problem. The droop is still there after six days being wrapped. However; it does not seem to affect him adversely. He can and does fly for short distances and appears to be gaining strength daily. I believe he will increase his distance as his strength builds. He is not a quitter, I’ll give him that. The area we are assigned to is part of Saddam’s old hunting preserve. When we first arrived there was any number of animals running wild. It was not uncommon to see hyenas, jackals, wolves, coyotes or antelope crossing the streets in the early mornings and evenings. There were and still are feral cats here in great numbers. They are known as jungle cats and have little to no fear of humans at this point. An average weight for one of these is approximately 30 pounds while some have reached as much as 50 lbs. They are ravenous in their foraging and I could not stand to think of this guy enduring that fate. He looked as if he had borne enough trouble on his young shoulders already so we have taken him in.
His feathers are coming along quite well. He really appears to be in good health other than the wing situation. I worry more now about him becoming “domesticated” and unable to fend for himself when we leave here. I understand the laws of nature and realize the need for them but it doesn’t make it any easier when I think of what may happen. I suppose it would seem silly to many people for me to worry about a bird dying when there are people dying everyday but I can not help it. I would like to think that at least one underdog had a chance in this place. I often go out to his place during my breaks and just sit with him. I know he is a raptor but he also has personality in abundance and he takes my mind off of all the ugliness for a while. Since the wing is not going to be a factor in his recuperation, do you have a suggested time line for release? I do not have any idea in that area. I can tell he is stronger and gaining more strength daily but is that enough of an indicator to act upon? I do want to give him every chance possible. Also if you think we’re interacting with him too much, let us know if that should be amended as well. I will close for now and await your reply. I do want to thank you for all of the help and advice you have provided to me. It has meant a lot. And if you want to post these emails and pictures, it is fine with me. Take care. John
Monday, February 19, 2007
The Little Owl
In the midst of death, a tiny struggle to give life a chance, and a brief glimpse at the spark that makes us human: