I was only a child when it happened. I remember being there, sitting on the floor of my grandmother’s house, trapped among those walls with only my imagination as a way out. I was only five, I saw it from the window, the free creature, a wild beast as I had longed to be, appeared in front of the window. The nasty old woman wouldn’t even let me get close to the window, even less when she saw it standing there watching me, knowing my pain. I guess the dullness my grandmother transmitted leaked out and to the creature. It made me a silent promise, the only one animals are capable of, cause animals can’t talk. Its eyes promised me to come back, to rescue me from her. And it did so that same night.
I felt it and as soon as my little feet touched the ground, shivers traversed me, the beast was close. As silently as I could, I rushed downstairs, the wood started creaking as my nervousness grew and compeled me to run, my body already knew that I was being freed. I stoped in front of the door. The presence was so obvious behind the door I was afraid every being in the house could feel it. I opened the door. The voice of my grandmother mumbled in dreams upstairs. Maybe it was not just a dream, maybe she did feel the spirit and wanted to make sure I was still trapped inside my crochet work cage. Only I wasn’t. Its eyes could be seen long before its whole silhouette became clear under the warm light of the fire back behind me. I couldn’t feel the cold, not even when I got close to the beast, out there in the snow. My fingers reached for the beast without my permission as they were not mine anymore and I was already floating out of my body. The creature nodded like if it was aware of our transaction, aware of the ancient witchcraft about to take place in my grandmother’s doorstep. I heard a clear scream this time. She ran downstairs but not fast enough, as I’ve said I didn’t belonged to myself anymore. I felt the beast’s body as mine and saw its eyes staring at me from what had been my tiny childish body just a second before. I felt its wildness and freedom surrounding me and for the first time ever I felt the distinctive liberty of the children. I ran away as my grandmother started shaking my old body looking for a rational answer but as I’ve said animals can’t talk so my old lips remained silent, closed and stupidly smily as I left for good.
I sometimes wonder what happened to the other me after that. I miss those old days of life among the humans, the life of the forest is scary and dangerous. I don’t want to be an owl anymore, it’s not that cool to be an owl. Sometimes I stare at people trying to get their bodies and recover my humanity but they won’t stay still, maybe they’ve been warned already.
Never stare at a snowy old if you don’t want to lose yourself.
Thanks again for letting us have a voice and a safe place to go, and in general for being there, working to be our awesome big sister.
THANK YOU WITH EVERY INCH OF MY SNOWY OWL HEART.