“But the hawk and the porcupine shall possess it, the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.”
– Isaiah 34:11
“Tell me a story,” said the Owl to the Porcupine.
“Tell me what is left of this when I am nothing more than feathers and old bones inside a tree.”
“I imagine,” paused the Porcupine, “you will see a light as all things must, but yours will be the moon.”
“And after that?”
“And after what?”
“The moon of course! The moon!”
“I can only guess, but maybe squirrels and raccoons will fall like rain.”
“And what of those I love?”
“I don’t suppose that they will fall, unless you eat them too.”
“I could never eat my mother,” said the owl.
“And I would not want you to,” replied the Porcupine.
“But will she find me?”
“She will join you on the endless hunt, I’m sure.”
“I’m scared for all of us,” confessed the Owl. “Will we suffer for our sins?”
“It sounds like you already have,” replied the Porcupine.
“But we are hunters who have killed the squirrels and raccoons!”
“And squirrels killed the acorn as it consumed the sun. So long as you take no more than you need the world survives.”
“Porcupine,” said owl still contemplating. “I’m dying. Soon all my memories will rest beneath your quills.”
The Porcupine stared blankly.
“I’m dying,” repeated Owl, “and whether fate exists or not the line of emptiness will stretch until I’m crushed beneath it.”
Porcupine took a long time to consider this. He chewed his tree bark while they waited.
“You are on another journey where you spread your wings,” he said. “But I will join you.”
“Please do,” said the Owl. “Will it take long?”
“For you, it will be a short night sleeping.”
“And for you?” He said with tears.
“Many more, perhaps a hundred years? Who can really say with certainty? But we will meet again, one way or another.”
And Owl knew that it would be a splendid sleep.
© Ben Ditmars 2015