Have you ever noticed that when people describe the Snowy White Beach Owl they use a multitude of adjectives which all start with the letter “M”? We’ll call them “magictives.”
Majestic, Mysterious, Magical, Magnificent, Mystical… these are just a few of many words people tend to favor repeatedly when captioning photos or talking about how they just saw a Beach Owl somewhere, making everyone real jelly. If you’d never seen one you’d think these creatures were akin to African Lions.
I find most of these magictives to be misleading at best. Beach Owls don’t strike me as any of these things. Words like “lazy,” “goofy,” “obnoxious,” “standoffish,” and “stupid” are what come to my mind. OK, maybe “stupid” is a little strong… but the average Beach Owl is surely not anywhere near as smart as it thinks it is. Beach Owls are more like our domesticated pet cats. Beach Owls are more of the “burt-meow!”, “here-pretty-kitty” variety. They play like them, act like them, and stare at you like them. Like they want to murder you.
It was only just recently that scientists proved what many of us already knew instinctively: that our cats want to murder us. And surely we must be close to a similar scientific breakthrough with the Beach Owls. Soon someone will prove that Beach Owls, just like our pretty little kitties, are sitting there in our dunes wishing they could murder us all, and just biding their time, keeping busy, until they can figure out how.
Staring into the enormous yellow moons on a Beach Owl’s face has a hypnotic effect on us. They trick us into believing that we are communing with the wild animal, that the animal loves us back, and that some sort of religious experience is transpiring. And from the subconscious comes a primal “mmmmm” sound.
The brain struggles to interpret it, and spits forth “majestic,” “magical,” and “magnificent” in an attempt to make sense of it all. But this is a mistake.
The “M” word we are looking for? It’s MURDER.