We went to a house I look after to check on it after the constant rain we have had here in Italy and while I was outside Valerie noticed some spots on the floor upstairs. We had been the last ones in the house in December and had cleaned it before we left. We opened some windows to let in light and upon looking closer realized the spots were bird droppings. How would bird droppings get into a house that has been closed up for several weeks?
We looked in the other rooms and found the culprit…a large brown owl was perched up on the roof rafters watching us. Fortunately there are double patio doors in this room which I quickly opened and after a few tries the owl was able to fly out and off to freedom. How he got into the house is a mystery to us.
When we returned to Ascoli we were telling some friends about this including our local poultry butcher, Dante. Yes - Italy has butchers just for poultry and others for beef. After a few quires to us as to the size and color of the bird the next question from Dante:
“So what did you do with the owl?”
“Well, I was able to open a door, there were double doors leading to a terrace, and eventually it flew out.”
“Why didn’t you catch it?”
“Then what would we do with it, it was no small animal?”
“Bring it back to me and I would have roasted it for you. We could have had roasted owl!”
Silly us! We should have known that Italians would have been thinking of what dish they could make with the owl and probably what kind of wine would go best with it. Roasted owl…what would that taste like?