Saturday, June 8, 2013

to be a vulture


Owls may be wise. Well, none that I have personally known have been all that wise. But vultures? That’s another story.

Look into their inquisitive brown eyes and you know there's a thinking brain inside that scruffy, bald noggin.

One of the perks of working at the nature center is the turkey vulture I get to care for. She's noble.  

Zoe was hit by a truck in western North Carolina and went through rehab at the American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge. It took so long for her to heal that she became people friendly, tame. Having lost her wildness and hunting skills, she imprinted on her human caregivers. 

Oh, she does not think that she is human or anything like that. She knows she's superior. We're her acolytes. She grunts her approval like a queen dowager when we bring her meals. Dead things—you really don't want to know the details.

Zoe came to Ijams over seven years ago. We’ll take care of her the rest of her life. But that's a privilege. She's clever and curious and courteous, dare I say, even charismatic. Yes, she has oodles of personality, nothing like an owl.

Fellow blogger/writer Young Okazaki is also charismatic and clever enough to know what she wants to be when she returns in another form, reaching a new level of enlightenment. Which begs the question: Is it better to be a partially enlightened human or a fully enlightened vulture (click)?

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