The bits of bone and fur caught my eye as I walked on our neighbors path through the woods.
I knew it was an owl pellet whose contents have been crushed and scattered. I squatted in the light rain and looked at the tiny shards of bone and tufts of hair that probably belonged to a mouse or mole. I touched some of the bone lightly with my finger tips and thought about taking one for the altar in my studio, but decided not to. I don’t know why, it was just a feeling.
An Owl Pellet is what an owl vomits up after eating a small animal.
It’s the bones and fur of the animal, compressed in a small oval shaped ball. I don’t know what holds everything together, but I’ve found more than one on walks in the woods.
Seeing the crushed owl pellet I couldn’t help think of one Bingo night at The Mansion.
Jon and I had gone to the bead shop in town to get some prizes for the Bingo winners. After the game, I sat at one of the tables with Winnie and Peggy as they opened up their prizes.
They were small balls made from colored tissue paper wrapped around little prizes. When you unraveled the thin strips of paper, that made up the ball, the prizes were revealed. When we were all done the table was littered with streams of tissue paper, two fortunes, a plastic frog and a plastic alien each with a parachute attached to it, and a tiny Top that Winnie gave to me because she could see I liked to watch it whirl.
I gave one of these balls to my friend Athena for her birthday and it had a crystal in it.
The owl pellet and the tissue paper ball came together in my mind. I know they have very different functions, but they have a lot of similarities too. Especially when they’ve been crushed or unraveled.
There’s something about how the residue of a small creature has been processed and packaged in this way. Maybe it’s just a curiosity. The tiny fragments of bone, like found jewels. A puzzle to be put together.
Someone who knew what the bones of a mouse looked like as opposed, to say, the bones of a mole would know what animal the owl had eaten.
Finding an owl pellet aways seems like a gift to me. Like the tissue paper wrapped ball. I have a good idea of what’s going to be inside of each, but it’s the possibility of discovery that sparks my curiosity.