Remarkable Story of an Owl and His Girl

by wag.mado@evpl on Friday, August 7 2009, 1:13pm. Viewed 1,350 times.

Wesely the OwlYes, that's the subtitle of the book I just finished. Wesley the Owl is a must for anyone who has ever been in love with an animal. The story is written by Stacey O'Brien, who was a lab assistant at Cal Tech when she adopted a 4-day-old barn owl after he suffered permanent nerve damage and could not survive in the wild.

The story, which spans close to 20 years, is filled with fascinating anecdotes of the relationship that developed between these two sentient beings. O'Brien's education as a biologist helps the reader understand many interesting facts about barn owls, but that does not keep her from falling deeply in love with Wesley.  The story has a deeper meaning which is about unconditional love and commitment and is referred to many times in the book as "the way of the owl."

I found this memoir humorous, heartwarming, educational, compassionate, and I had a hard time putting it down.  I'll never think of barn owls the same again.


A day after finishing the book, I tuned in to Oprah where she featured a man whose best friend is a Grizzly Bear. That segment was followed by a friendship between an elephant and a dog at the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald Tennessee -- the same place where Evansville's beloved "Bunny" lived out her last few years. Must have been my week for animal relationship stories!



Comments (4)

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Bufkinite@evpl wrote
on Monday, August 10 2009, 2:54pm

Since you've had such a good week with animal stories, please maintain it by NOT reading "Dewey : the small-town library cat who touched the world."  I thought it would be good, because it's written by a librarian & takes place in a library.  But it moves at a snail's pace, is too saccharine, and is poorly written.

Thanks for reviewing a good one - I'm going to look it up.

tam1 wrote
on Tuesday, August 11 2009, 2:09am

I enjoyed Wesley The Owl as well, but Alex And Me by Irene Pepperberg is the best human and animal case study that I have ever read.  That bird was so intelligent it was eerie.

gawell@evpl wrote
on Tuesday, August 11 2009, 10:12am

From Time Magazine Top Animal Stories of 2007:

Run, lobsters, run! In October, more than a dozen jumbo lobsters gave new meaning to the phrase "late-night supermarket run" when they high-tailed it out of a grocery store and headed down the street. The determined crustaceans had crawled their way out of insecure cages, scurried across the supermarket floor and exited via the front door. Passersby alerted police, who apprehended the would-be entrées and gave them to an animal shelter.

The least any beings can do is be friends, sentient and otherwise.,30583,1686204_1686303_1690868,00.html

gawell@evpl wrote
on Tuesday, August 11 2009, 4:00pm

#6. Fake Flipper

When a bottlenose dolphin got caught in a crab trap near Cape Canaveral, Fla., a handful of fisherman helped her escape, but they couldn't save her mangled tailfin. This spring, prosthetic experts from Hanger Orthopedic Group in Bethesda, Md., designed a plastic tail for the baby dolphin and a new type of gel to hold it in place. And to critics who pooh-pooh such efforts as a waste of resources, it's worth noting that the gel was later used to help an Iraq War veteran attach his prosthetic legs more comfortably.