Owl in the City

Shoals of people streamed up and down the High Street. Capped on each end by busy roads. Cars, buses, and bikes blitzing past. Fuschias, jades, and platinums beamed off the girl’s bronzed faces. Providing sharp contrast to the stained sandstone shopfronts and greasy cobbles below.

There was a minute barn owl perched on a worn leather glove. It was either the runt of the litter or abandoned. Or maybe a mixture of both. It’s head no larger than a tennis ball, it’s eyes ping-pong balls. The feathers made it hard to tell where the body ended and the feet began, but I assume there were there, hidden somewhere beneath the plumage. This wise, nocturnal hunter had grown used to days outside TK Maxx, and like the rest of us seemed annoyed by the buskers nearby. 

The man holding him was transfixed in time. His stillness stood out on the street. His dark black hair was both balding and scruffy. His unseasonably tanned face gave way to occasional yellow teeth. “I could cry”. His musical Newcastle accent bounced up and down. His camel like lashes and ice blue eyes looked up from the bird. “He’s so beautiful I could cry.”. He stood there in his tracksuit bottoms and a polo shirt, separated from the shopping world by the tiny bird on his glove.