The Fourth Owlet

  I dreamed that I went to visit him in his home in the countryside.  While I was there, he asked me if I would like to see the owls in his barn.  They recently had owlets, and we could get right up close to them because the parents would be out hunting. 

    Naturally I was delighted at the prospect of seeing the owls, so I followed him to the barn.  The barn was identical to the ranchers’ barns found in the rural areas of my homeland: it was very tall, and had a loft space at the top.

     He told me that the owlets were nested there, in the loft space, which was accessible only by ladder.  We had to climb the ladder one at a time.  He went first and waited at the top, stabilizing the ladder with his hands.  I am afraid to climb ladders, but I scaled it.

      The loft was sunny, with a low peaked roof, and it had a little glassless window that looked out onto grassy fields.  The barn looked like it came from my homeland, but the view out the window did not look familiar at all.  It looked like this painting by van Gogh (I always make a point to see this whenever I visit the Met):

      The loft was surprisingly clean and tidy for a barn.  He said that the barn was where he kept his secret things.

      Then I saw the owlets!  There were three of them, hopping around the floor, as bold as you please.  They were so cute!  The owlets were not afraid of him at all.  They ran to him.

      We observed the owls and played with them for a while, and then it was time to go back to the house.  

        He went down the ladder first.  I watched him descend, clutching the ladder in my hands.

        When his shoes reached the floor, he pulled the ladder away and leaned it against the far corner of the barn!  I asked him what he was doing, and he explained, calmly, that it was his intention to keep me in the loft indefinitely.

      Then he walked out.

      I was panicking, but there was nothing I could do.  I could not get down without the ladder. The loft was at least two stories off the floor of the bare floor of the barn.  It was too high to risk a jump.  Like an owlet, I could not fly.

        I began to explore the loft, seeing it with fresh eyes.  It had obviously been prepared in advance.  There was a wrought-iron bedframe bolted to the floor, a mattress, and o-ring anchor points drilled into the beams on the ceiling. 

         There was a picnic basket with food and water.  

         (Eventually, there would be books and writing materials, but I had to earn those.)

           It was just the owlets and me.  In time, I became the fourth owlet.  

        He would come to visit me and fuck me almost every day, which was nice. 

         As he went around town on his business, his friends and neighbors would often ask about how he had passed the time that day.  Smiling, he would tell them that he spent the morning observing his barn owl.

      He smiled because it was a private joke.  Nobody had any idea that his barn owl was actually a girl. 


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