The Owl

Here is a story from when Nin was young, and still a prince among rabbits:

Nin was sitting under a great old tree, and the rain trickled down through the palms and wet his head and fell on his nose. The rainstorm had come out of nowhere. Nin was irritated. He was cold and miserable, and with nothing to distract him from his coldness and miserableness, his irritation only increased.

A dark owl, nearly hidden in the shadow of the palm, began to stir. It stretched its wings and stared out from the darkness.

Nin was afraid, and his fear rooted him in place. He saw hate in the owl’s eyes, saw hate in his form. The brow was furrowed, the beak was sharp, the body was tensed, as if every muscle and sinew were imbued with a quiet fury. Nin had never before seen such concentrated hatred.

“Hate,” said the dark, hidden owl. “Hate. I hate the rain, and so should you. I hate the wind, and the wet and the cold. More than anything else in this cruel world, it is the storm that I hate. Bringer of sickness, of flood, of death, destroying my home, my nest, my haunts; the pattern of my life.”

The owl turned and stared into Nin’s eyes. “I will stop the storm; all storms, it will be like it never was.” With every word, the world seemed to grow darker, and the owl was one with the darkness. “In time, they will not have even the faintest memory of rain, be it scent or sound or taste. I will eradicate it all, down to the very last drop of dew.”

And such was his conviction that Nin, the rabbit prince, almost believed such a thing could be done, and this owl had the power to do so.

At the time the young prince had no response, no recourse against such reckless hate. He simply ran away.

It would be years before Nin was prepared to face such malice again.