My arm's been twisted to try Three Word Wednesday courtesy of Thom G. The words are: effortless, thrash, vindictive. Since I didn't get to it last week, I'll use those words, too: deliberate, intervene, nourish. Here we go.
The crumbling farmhouse stood at the end of the driveway where she parked the minivan, and the old guy standing on the gravel flicked a wave toward a garden in his front yard. That's where the owl had taken refuge.
A barred owl, cousin to the kind loggers out west said they liked to eat for dinner. A vindictive beak, built for shredding. A satellite-shaped face surrounding dark eyes. One quiet wing dragging.
She opened the back of the minivan, pulled out a ragged gray bath towel, left the door open. The owl hopped up on a stump, snapped its beak.
The old guy watched with his hands on his hips, shaking his head like it was foolish to intervene. But instead he was recalling the time when he was ten and his brother was twelve and they'd found a nest of what turned out to be falcons. They spent weeks caring for them in the barn, taking turns feeding them nourishing pieces of rabbit.
Her deliberate approach telegraphed an impending struggle -- a thrashing mass of human limbs, terrycloth, feathers, dirt, possibly blood -- but the action was almost effortless. She wrapped the towel around the bird as if it had just stepped out of the shower, waiting to be dried off. More snapping. She held the warm package to her chest, carried it to the minivan, dropped it in a cardboard box.
It looked up at her with a moon face before she folded the top, enveloping the owl in a temporary cocoon.