In the Malay language, the word "owl" is spoken as burung hantu.
Directly translated, the words mean, "ghost bird."
In this dimly-lit, late-afternoon photo of the secret building,
my owl's favorite tree is the one on the left.
I saw my owl again.
On our usual walk today, Ranger and I headed across the foot bridge toward the secret building where we saw him the first time, at pretty much the same hour of twilight..
We rounded the back corner of the building, and I strained my eyes in the falling light to see if I could make him out on the lawn where we found him on Friday.
Nope. No owl in sight.
Sigh. I've been hoping all week to encounter him again but you know what they say about lightning striking twice in the same place.
It rarely happens.
So I let Ranger continue to lead me around the curve of the lane, trying to be not disappointed.
Just to be sure, though, my eyes scanned the tree - actually three narrow trees, planted side by side by side against the back of the building - where the owl had alighted on our first meeting.
And there he was.
A pale shadow in the deepening darkness.
Just a few meters off the ground.
Utterly and perfectly motionless.
I gasped inwardly and stared.
While I could not make out his face - and he certainly gave me no hints - I am pretty sure that owl stared at me as I slowly and carefully tiptoed past his perch, my oblivious red dog trailing happily behind me.
When we cleared what I perceived to be his air space, I turned back to take another long look at my owl. Honestly, I was hoping against hope that he would fly again, moving swiftly and silently into the nearby woods.
But he didn't. He just sat stone till, enjoying, I presume, the emerging darkness that brings him fully to life.
And I couldn't help but think, as the Malay do, that my white owl looked just like a pale phantom in the night sky..
Burung hantu. Ghost bird.
The very idea sent delicious shivers down my spine.
And I hope very much that I will see my owl again soon.