Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Video: The Lady and the Owl

A gentle stroll through an owl sanctuary might just restore your faith in humanity

‘There are many ways of being wounded, yet many ways of being cured.’

The documentary The Lady and the Owl (1975) highlights the work of Kay and Larry McKeever, a retired Canadian couple who dedicated themselves to caring for orphaned, injured and starving owls. From their home in Ontario, they could provide safe haven for up to 100 owls at once, serving creatures of varying sizes and needs. At first glance, one might mistake the couple’s commitment as a form of obsession with their avian brood. However, the Canadian director William Canning’s gentle film shows that deep knowledge and understanding underpin their humane care, right up to the bittersweet moment when an owl is well enough for release back into the wild. While the McKeevers are no longer living (Larry died in 2002; Kay in 2019), their passion endures in the Owl Foundation, a nonprofit sanctuary and rehabilitation centre that they established the same year as the film’s release.

Director: William Canning

Website: National Film Board of Canada

Text: Aeon

Running time: 28 minutes

Email subscribers may click on the title of this post to watch the video.

One comment on “Video: The Lady and the Owl

  1. Barbara Huntington
    July 18, 2021

    Loved this. Mostly for the owls but also for the peek into the formality I had forgotten in the era. Since I no longer eat meat, it was a little tough seeing the owls chow down as I ate my breakfast. Thank you, Michael. You continue to delight and surprise.

    Liked by 1 person

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