Screech owl

On a rainy night in Atlanta the screech owl spread out its wings, like a big black dart against the whirly leaves and the pockmarked shadows of the streetlight, and then settled down on a higher branch, screeching eloquently that it preferred me to keep my distance. The violent storm had gone by, leaving a soaking darkness with a jittery sound of trees waving and insects chattering. I loved the screech owl just for being there. I loved it for soaring through a place where I only ever plod. I loved it for talking to other species without selfconsciousness.

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