Friday, October 30, 2009

From the files of the Black Baron: Casefile #091030 - The Klunk Saga.

In the not too distant past I spent a six month period visiting with a friend that lived in a small town in Indiana.

Now while the nature and purpose of this visit is really no one's business but my own there were a handful of episodes well worth sharing with the world at large.

Among these is one I like to refer to as "The Klunk Saga".

Now let me set the scene for you...

Everybody's favorite Baron and his companion had spent the day wandering the wilds of Indiana, hitting a few stores and buying a stack of IBM model M keyboards from a local flea market, before returning home food was obtained from a very good eatery and movies were rented that would help pass the evening, eventually leading up to other things happening that I wont be sharing here.

Now bear in mind that this is a very rural area, lots of farms and suchlike greatly spaced out, gravel roads, and no streetlights, that sort of thing.

Now, as I said, we were headed back to her home in her white Chevy S-10 pickup along a tree-shaded stretch of road at twilight, no streetlights, hardly any moonlight and we were constantly distracting each other in various ways.

Now while I was being a bit distracted I was still keeping a weather eye out for the rare bit of oncoming traffic and the slightly more frequent member of the local fauna crossing the road.

Needless to say I was considerably surprised when we both heard a loud solid clunk come from the center of the driver's side door.

My first thought was "Damn, I hit something", then I realized "Wait, that came from the door... something hit us", in the few seconds it took me to stop various things flashed through my mind, everything from me clipping a cyclist in dark clothes I couldn't see to someone taking a shot at the truck, this last leading me to quickly check for holes in both of us and the inside of the truck before I would even consider getting out.

Since we all quickly passed inspection, no holes that shouldn't have been there and all that, I proceeded to turn the truck around and slowly head back the way I came just in case there were injuries or damage I needed to deal with.

After rolling a few yards back up the road the only thing of note I saw was a small brownish lump in the road about the size of a third of a loaf of bread with bits that were fluttering in the breeze, giving the impression it was just some rags or suchlike.

Stopping the truck some yards away from this lump I went over to have a look, figuring that, at the very least, I'd move whatever it was out of the road.

Imagine my surprise when I rolled over what turned out to be a lump of feathers and was met with a pair of large blinking eyes staring up at me rather dazedly, accompanied with the occasional odd little warbling sound and looking very well stunned.

I proceeded to laugh my ass off.

Obviously, somehow an owl, at dusk, managed to fly into the side of a white pickup truck because it didn't see it.

My companion fetched a box of rags she kept in the back of the truck and I used some of them in lieu of gloves to first check to see if he had anything broken, which he didn't, and then move him to the box so the rest of the rags could serve as bedding for it on the way home.

You see, there was no way we were going to leave a stunned critter on the side of the road for some coyote to come along and munch on.

My companion's house had a spare room that was pretty much empty and we could close the door to keep her cats and dogs out, this became our new friends place while we waited to see if he'd be all right.

The next morning I checked on the little guy and he still appeared to be quite out of it, so we left him alone only cracking the door open once in a while to make sure he was still breathing.

By now I had the clear image in my head of a mouse by the side of the road laughing his tail off at the owl that was bearing down on him crashing right into the side of a pickup.

We contacted a friend of my companion in this adventure who owned a pet store and dealt a lot with various large birds, and told him what happened, once he stopped laughing he said he'd be right over.

He arrived some time later with a few "pinkies", newborn baby rats used for feeding birds and small snakes, by now the owl, now referred to as Klunk, was awake and obviously not happy, he was even more so after being force-fed several of the pinkies as he hadn't eaten in at least a day by now, we retreated from the room and left him to sulk.

The following morning I cracked open the door and peered in, the box was overturned and the rags were scattered all over the room, but there was no sign of our new tenant till I opened the door fully and looked across the room, resulting in me being greeted, from the curtain rod over the window, with the most baleful glare I've ever received in my life, a glare that has never been matched before or since in my experience.

By now he gave every appearance of being hale and hearty so I took the chance of heading across the room, closing the door behind me, and pulling the window open, with the thought that he'd head out once he realized he had an exit... it failed to occur to me that I was expecting an owl that couldn't see a white pickup truck to find an open window.

It took Klunk two days to find the window and he crashed into the bird feeder on his way out... I bet that mouse is still laughing and telling all his friends at the local mouse bar about the nearsighted owl.

The coyotes weren't quite as amused.

P.S. This just happens to be my 100th post on this blog thing, I never thought it would actually go this far... yay me.


  1. Indeed... Yay you!

    I know you often feel you write for... no one at all. I started out that way, writing for a couple years, then finally people started to find me. My blogs are still not especially popular, but when you make a connection with someone you wouldn't have met any other way, it feels worth it. At least to me.

    Keep on bloggin'!

  2. Great story, Marrock. Crazy owl. I thought that you were going to say it was a bat.