Tonight, something happened to me that I will undoubtedly remember for ever; I was mugged. For those of you that are interested, this is what happened…
It was a beautiful evening: clouds covered the sky, the air was calm, and the temperature was pleasant. Wanting to take advantage of such a nice evening I put on my Five Fingers, shorts and toque, then ran out the door.
In no time I was blasting through the trails of Beacon Hill Park. Over the rocks, through the grass, and into freedom. I knew it was almost dusk so I veered towards the shoreline to hopefully catch the sun before it set. The quickest way there was through the trees.
The scenery changed dramatically upon entering the trees. It became dark, slightly damp, and oddly quiet. Just as I adjusted to my new surroundings I felt a forceful SCRATCH across the top of my head. My toque was gone! My first though was that someone I knew had seen me and grabbed it from behind. I spun around frantically. There was nothing but the silence of the forest. Then, all of a sudden, I noticed movement coming from above.
I looked up and saw an owl perched calmly on a large overarching branch. He was brown, rather large, and feathery — and was staring directly into my eyes. I could tell he had been watching me. After a moment of distraction I remembered my toque was still missing. Wanting desperately to find it, I continued to spin around. Self-concious thoughts filled my head: Was I crazy? Was this a dream? I kept searching and finally saw it, trapped under the claws of another owl, less than six feet above my head. She had an innocent look in her eyes — as if she had just stolen a loaf of bread to feed her family.
It finally made sense to me. These owls sought my toque for the same reason I had; It was soft and comfortable. Perfect for a nest. After taking some time to realize what had happened, my panic and fright disappeared. I knew I wasn’t going to get my toque back, and I no longer cared. These were the most beautiful creatures I had ever seen, and they were right in front of me.
Struck with awe, I spent the next while trading glances with the two owls. Then, after what felt like hours, both of them carried on with their business and headed further into the trees. They got what they came for.
I couldn’t believe what had happened. After spending so much time buried away in the city I forgot how amazing nature is, and how easy it is to forget about all the stressful things in life by simply wandering off into the park and experiencing wildlife. So, in the end I was glad to be mugged. Even though I had to give up my favourite toque, I now have a great story to tell my grand kids. My only wish was that I had brought my camera.