"There's a bird on the second floor, did you hear?" says Ari, our landlord. We are very spoiled, because Ari speaks excellent English.
"No, what kind?" I say, expecting a sparrow or a pigeon.
"It eats mice. You know. It says hoo, hoo."
"An OWL? There are owls in Jakarta? How can an owl live in Jakarta? We want an owl!" I blurbled.
Ari took me down to the parking area under the building. We climbed up onto the back wall. Sure enough, craning my neck, I could see an owl tucked up under the roof of the balcony, dozing.
"Do you think we could train him to eat ants?" I asked. An owl could raise a large extended family on ants in our apartment.
Ari shook his head. "I called the zoo to come get him."
But the zoo never arrived. Our avian guest departed sometime toward evening. I'm thinking of putting some plastic mice on the balcony, just in case he comes around again.
Perhaps my famous bird-artist brother John, who's in The New Yorker Magazine this week, would care to make a long (very long) distance ID? Based on my almost useless photo?