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Poor Athena, seems she forgot her helmet that day…Today’s comic is like that movie The Birds, only it involves a single, very tenacious, bird. I guess you’d just call that The Bird. It’s no less terrifying a title than The Birds. I mean, one is about as scary as a thousand. I guess what I’m getting at is that birds, in general, lack the ability to intimidate.

That is unless they’re dire owls.

Thankfully, we’ve been safe from them for a while. I can’t guarantee that this will continue, as I’m in a particularly owly mood this weekend…

The owl, as a symbol, is one of the more potent concepts in human cultures across the world. There’s something alluring and strange about owls that has caused many of the peoples that have come in contact with them to ascribe mystical powers to them. Owls, to many cultures represent mystery, magic, and insight, though the intent behind these powers varies. There are groups of people that see them as wise and benevolent creatures, others portray them as being relatively chaotic in nature, playing tricks and the like, and still others depict them as being dangerous things that bring death and represent the power of devils and demons.

Wherever you go, if there are owls, there will be some kind of lore about them.

The Ancient Greeks are, as in so many other respects, responsible for much of the symbolism we rely on and turn to in modern western nations. Their unique outlook on the world, though several thousand years old, has persisted through time to influence us today. Many of the concepts we see today in theater, movies, art, and even religion, are just a remixed version of Ancient Greek handed down through the ages. To them, the owl represented wisdom, insight, and seriousness. There are reports that a great many Little Owls inhabited Greek temples, being a respected creature within that culture. Strangely, the Romans, who took so much from Greek Culture, saw them as devilish creatures that portended death (not unlike our friend, the Dire Owl). That particular view persisted in western cultures for many years.

It’s only natural that the goddess of Wisdom, Athena, should be best buds with the likes of the somber and mysterious owl. Athena, being a goddess of intelligence and piercing insight, was most respected by the Athenians and their society of knowledge and culture. Together, Athena and her owl came to represent the city and their likenesses have been seen in a great deal of the art from Athens.

Many of these images and sculptures depict the owl sitting proudly atop Athena’s head, like some kind of weird wig or helmet accessory. Presumably this place of respect was reserved for the bird that Athena thought best represented her own unique outlook.

May I offer an alternative theory?

It seems to me that this bird may have been an eternal tormenter, forever attached to the skull of the woman it rode about on as one might ride a palanquin. Perhaps this dread beast thought to issue commands from atop the poor goddess, knowing that with but a simple squeeze she would be unable to resist the pain from its bloodied talons!

I rescind my comment earlier about birds lacking intimidating natures.

I’ve just terrified myself with a completely fabricated story.

Stay away from me, owls!!

*Also, sorry for the late comic. My computer failed last night and the site had issues this afternoon. Everything should be working properly now. I’m going to try to get some buttons to link to sharing sites working this week, I think.*

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