Lechuzas

I have this affinity with birds… a special connection if you may.  I must have been a bird in a previous life; if not, I should fly with them one day.  

I love birds.  Love them all the same, but my favorite above all my favorites would have to be the mysterious and ever so controversial “Lechuza”, or “Mochuelo”.

The Gypsies call her "Ghost of the Nigh"—the owl, with its large eyes and mysterious ways. 


When I was a little girl growing up in a faraway land, I was terrified of them. Folks in our little rural community were very superstitious. They believed that the presence of an owl could only meant one thing: That a ghost was lurking nearby. Thus, Lechuzas were detested and much feared. Lechuzas were harbingers of death. Mothers and grandmothers would teach their children to hide from them, and fathers and grandfathers would lock every window and every door of their houses at the stroke of midnight to prevent bad luck from coming in whenever a Lechuza would cross the night sky.


My sister Lissette and I were never ever to look into a Lechuza’s large unmovable eyes and gargoyle-like face. And so, whenever they would fly low over the tin roof of our humble little house at night we would cover our ears and hide under our blankets trembling with fear. The eerie-sounding cries of the Lechuzas used to send shivers up our spines.

Isn’t it funny how we humans would outgrow our fears as we, through the years, learn, understand and get gradually exposed to the sources of our anxieties? Ah yes, I love owls, and I have them everywhere in my garden; only they’re not real ;) 

I keep dreaming and hoping that one day I will see a beautiful owl perch high in our Spruce Pine... silly me an owl in my urban garden! Oh well, one can always dream, right? 

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