Today when I was walking with Ayla, I found a dead owl by the highway. As you may have guessed, there’s a lot of roadkill here, mostly skunks, a few raccoons, coyotes, deer and the occasional cat. This was the first owl I’d seen this close, dead or otherwise. It was beautiful and seemed recently dead.
I carried it home, and contemplated taking some of its feathers; it even occurred to me to have it taxidermied. Then I realized that it’s a federal crime to possess an owl or owl parts, no matter how you came by them. More importantly, however, I couldn’t see my way clear to desecrate the corpse of this majestic creature, even by taking a single feather.
I called the wildlife department and asked what to do with it; they told me to put it in a garbage bag and throw it away! Instead, I laid it to rest under a tree and built a cairn to mark its grave. RIP, owl.