So, on Yule, I was on my way to my mom’s house, and I saw something in the road. It was kind of an off-white color, fairly small and sort of round, and it was just sitting in the center of my lane. I thought it was a fast-food bag. Food bags and beer cans are an expected sighting, on or along the road, every few feet, from my house to the main road. So I thought nothing of it. As I got close, it moved, and I realized it was something living. I hit my breaks, but knew I was too close to stop in time, or swerve entirely around it. So, I tried to line up so that it could pass between my wheels, and just hoped that it was short enough to not hit the under side of my car. As it passed under my bumper, I thought, “That’s an owl!”
My car came to a stop about two feet over the creature, and I immediately put on my hazards and jumped out to see if it was okay. I looked up under the front bumper, but it was dark, so I couldn’t really tell, but I thought I could see a vague shape under there. I wasn’t really sure what to do, or how to get the owl out from under my vehicle, plus I was sitting in the middle of a fairly twisty road, in the dark. The only thing I could think to do was get back in, and try to slowly back up, so that I could see if the poor guy was okay.
Well, I backed up as slowly as possible and leaned toward my windshield, to watch for the owl. Eventually, I realized that I had backed up much farther than it seemed like I should have, and there was still no sign of him. I stopped for a second, then thought, “No, I must have miscalculated somehow,” and backed up a bit farther. Still nothing. Then I thought I must have been wrong about seeing him under the car, and I had actually hit him and knocked him off to the side of the road. I scanned my eyes along the shoulder, and saw something in the ditch. I got back out of my car and rushed over, to find that it was a piece of a tree branch, and obviously not the same shape or color of the thing I saw in the road.
By this point, two cars had driven past me and slowed down to look at me, but not asked what was wrong (so thanks for that, guys). Still, I stood there, in the middle of the road a little longer, wondering where in the fuck the owl could have gone, and if it was actually an owl at all. Finally, I got back in the car and continued to my mom’s house.
Now, I know there are reasonable explanations for this. I suppose it is possible that it really was a piece of trash or something, and it just blew away, as I drove over it. Or, if it was truly an owl, I suppose he could have flown out from under my car and I just didn’t notice. I don’t really think so though. If it was a bag or something, I don’t feel like it could have blown so far that I couldn’t still see it along the road. And, if it was an owl, I feel like I would have seen, and/or heard him fly away. I don’t know, I feel like I saw some sort of spirit tonight, and the longest night of the year seems like an appropriate time for such a thing to happen.
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