The Owl has crossed the Water and passed beyond the bridges. It is a different world across the Water. Gardens are everywhere, but the Owl has not found the Serpent.
These are strange creatures who say nothing good of one another. They fear strangers and mistrust their neighbors. In previous life the Owl had brothers and sisters who supported one another. We had dignity and we had strength.
The Owl knew the Wise before arriving in the Garden. Even as the Owl passed over, there were still some Wise who helped their companions through the journey.
From fledge to final flutter Owl lived in a tiny, snug nest among common folk. Mockingbirds serenaded the nightly garbage trucks and chanted to the car alarms. Sparrows and starlings jousted for crusts. Doves and finches heralded dawnbreak at the seeder.
And always, there were pigeons. Beneath the pigeons crept rats and other foul creatures. Owl met these monsters in nightly battles and learned nightly lessons in pain.
Owl knew that this was not a perfect world, but it was the only world we had. We had to work together to survive and prosper. Owl was taught from the egg that the Great Parliament would act, in its Wisdom, to care for all of the folk regardless of species.
Through all the cold molts, Owl clung to the perch knowing her wings would be full again. She would return to the night, fighting again. Food would appear and Owl would grow strong again.
Then came such a dearth as Owl had never imagined. Hunting fields were desolate; there were no prey. No neighbors sang the dawn news. Owl ate the last of the seed, and watched, and waited.
The Owl searches the shore of the Water for friends. Groundhog struggles along at midday determined to provide for her family. Egret thrashes the banks in his muddied plumage. Hawks sweep the sky with disdain. The Owl watches, and waits.