I woke early while the light was still blue. Early for us, I guess. My morning chores always the first thing on my mind. Bathroom break the pups, greet and water the hens, start a fire in the shop. I find comfort in these daily rituals. I prepped the water for the hens, suited up and headed out. The heavy snowstorm has really meant rain in the valley.
I stepped outside, the eave of the roof dripping on my forehead. You can instantly tell when something isn't right in the coop. Their nervous clucks echo out the cracked window. Like a choir of anxious children. I hurried along my beaten path. Threw open the door. One of the young ladies was pressed against the ceiling, balancing on the chicken wire. I spoke sweetly to her. "What are you doing up there, silly girl?" The entire flock was stacked into one corner of the house. And in the other corner sat the most beautiful owl I have ever set eyes on. An old hen laid at its feet, lifeless. My heart began racing.
The warm weather melted away all of the snow. All of the snow that was blocked right up to the little hen-sized door. And our friend must have hopped right in during the early hours of morn. With easy words and gentle persuading (and a guiding shovel) I was able to replace the owl back to the open Idaho sky.
It was a magnificent, sad, humbling, blessed morning.