|rural Wiltshire County|
While traveling through the countryside of England this summer, I stayed in traditional little inns. Dinner was served each evening, and there was one night I was busy until late, so I came back just before the kitchen closed, in time for dessert and a pint of stout. I was the only one in the small dining area, and the waitress sort of stared at me and eventually asked, "Are you one of those crop circle people?"
I replied, "Well, sort of."
She explained that the inn gets a lot of 'croppies' each summer, and she was sort of mystified by them. I explained that I had spent the day at a crop circle conference on the campus of Marlborough College. Then I told her I was working on a book about owls. She told me that was odd because just the other evening when she was pulling into her driveway she saw a set of owls. She lives on a nearby farm, and there are four posts alongside her driveway and there was a big owl on each of the posts, four of them all lined up. They didn't fly away as she pulled in, they just sat there as she lit them up with her headlights.
I asked when that was, and she said two nights ago, the same day I arrived at the inn.
At that point I mumbled, "Oh, that was me."
She looked at me quizzically, and said, "What? Do you think you somehow manifested those owls?"
Then I asked if she sees a lot of owls. She said not very often, but they are around. I asked if she had ever seen four in a row like that, she said, "No, never."
I then went on to explain the weirdness of my research, and how owls seem to show up in all kinds of strange ways, sometimes it seems in direct connection to me. I guess I made my point because she seemed to take me seriously and said that, "Maybe you did manifest those owls."
She told about growing up in Wiltshire and how the area is rich with folklore. She was skeptical about most of these tales, that it was just part of living here. She told me a story about a friend who was hunting rabbits, and was about to shoot towards a hedge row when an small orange orb appeared, floating near where he was pointing his gun, causing him to pause. At that point a fellow walked out from behind the bushes along a foot path. If he would have fired his riffle, he quite probably would have shot that man, so the little orb might have saved a life.