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Cwm Cawlwyd

The Owl of Cwm Cawlwyd is the fourth-oldest living thing in the world, which is obvious from his shoes. They’re whatever color gray becomes after brown turns into gray, when that brown was once polished black. They personally ground out the grooves on his apartment steps.

The Owl lets crackers fall from a sleeve as he climbs. He’s courting mice. He doesn’t eat them, not anymore; he just likes to stand at his doorstep, at the very top of the switchback staircase, and watch. Age has taken his beak, his shoes, and his silent feathers, but never yet his sight.