Lost Things that Haunt Me: that Picture


One day my mother called me while I was at work, saying an owl had stepped into the kitchen. I told her I’d be there in an hour, and waited impatiently for closing time. Then I rushed home and found it was a little owl that had fallen from the nest and couldn’t find its parents. One hour, and my mother had already made a pet of it. After our last cat had been ran over, she had resolved never to take another animal again. The loss had been too painful. But now, since this particular guy had found its way to her kitchen on its own initiative, she had no intention of letting it go.

“You know you can’t keep it”, I told her. She had no idea how to feed a wild animal, and what its need could be. She had given cake crumbs to it: the animal was puzzled and hungry. However, it was trying to adapt to the new arrangement: a new, featherless parent was all it could hold on to from now on. It had to be contented with it. It fled on our arms like a domesticated falcon and eventually landed on mom’s head, maybe finding the substitute of a nest in the fluffiness of the permed hair.

I made a phone call to a rescue centre. As a birdwatcher, I wanted to make the most of this unnatural situation before they came to collect our guest. I became delusional with dreams of a Pulitzer Prize or being featured in the National Geographic. I had waited forever for something like this: the chance for a close-up of a wild animal. And it posed like a perfect model, looking straight into the camera. Although I only had a cell phone with me, the pictures came out beautiful.

That night I gleamed with victory as I turned on my PC to transfer the files and finally see the photos full screen. But before that, I wanted to save the good ones and delete the few blurred shots.

Technology is evil: something didn’t work. Somehow I had managed to erase the good pictures and keep the crappy ones. I couldn’t believe it. I checked again: all lost. The damage was irreversible. The instant I realized it, I broke into tears like a child. I had lost the best photos of a lifetime and all is left now are a few clumsy shots that hardly justify a blog post.


Written in response to Writing 101, Day Four: The Serial Killer


5 thoughts on “Lost Things that Haunt Me: that Picture

  1. What a lovely little owl! My mum’s the same – she used to find all sorts of little rodents that our cats brought in and keep them as pets. She had to let them go eventually, of course.

    Technology is just awful sometimes. But you’ll still have the story, and the memories, and sometimes that could even make up for it! 🙂

  2. Olga Brajnović

    You still have a pretty good picture of the little owl. I can imagine the frustration you felt. Great post.

  3. Gutting. I once embraced technology. But nothing old fashioned has ever let me down in the way it has. Oh, and by the way, this picture of the Owl aint so bad – cute!

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