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The other day I paid a visit to the park I used to volunteer at, and checked in on some of the ambassador animals I worked with.

Our elderly red-tailed hawk–affectionately known as Old Man Red-Tail–was still alive and chilling. This bird. I love him. He’s super-ancient, we think probably around 20-25 years old, and very badly brain-damaged. This makes him incredibly calm on the glove, although if he decides to bate (jump off), he’ll just dangle from his leash and flap his wings majestically instead of trying to get back up again. You kinda have to grab his legs and plant him back on your fist, and then he immediately settles down like it never happened.

I worked with the old bird in 2013, well before I was any sort of pagan, and in fact in those days I thought neopaganism was hella weird. And yet, I can’t help but think that this arthritic, gentle animal was Odin poking his nose–or perhaps his beak–into my life even then. Why? Old Man Red-Tail is missing an eye.

What’s more, when I posted pictures of him one day, he gave someone else an Odin ping. Again, this before I even realized that gods pinging people was A Thing. 

I don’t know where I’m going with this post, except perhaps to tell you guys that I used to work with large birds of prey on the reg, and that Odin apparently has always had it out for me.