© Stacey O’Brien.
This is the third animal biography I’ve read in the last year, the first being about Dewey the library cat, the second being about Alex the super-intelligent parrot. All three share some qualities: a woman finds herself taking an animal into her care who turns out to be far more challenging and complex a personality than she had expected. Like Dewey, Wesley the barn owl was orphaned and injured, unable to survive on his own. Like Alex, Wesley comes from an animal research background, though in this case the owl did not undergo years of scientific testing. Instead his owner and companion, Stacey, merely documented his life and ways thoroughly for owl researchers that she initially was working with. Though Wesley doesn’t learn to talk like Alex, he proves that the owl mind is full of intelligence, and Stacey learns to communicate with him amazingly well.
Owls are solitary by nature, and that meant only Stacey could really get to know him intimately, but through this book, we all can share the insights into owl ways. And like Dewey, caring for Wesley pulls Stacey, an interesting personality in her own right, through personal trials and health problems. I enjoyed this book, and though I wouldn’t ever try to take on a task like raising a wild owl, it was very entertaining reading about this one. Recommended.