So I have a confession.
That’s not true.
I was doing Ollie a favor.
Oh, you know him as Rockefeller the Owl, the name given to him because people of the internet think they can do whatever they want with their keyboard.
But to those of us back home in upstate New York, he’s Ollie. The adorable baby owl we all considered our own.
Once word got around our little town that I had signed a deal to become the most famous Christmas tree in the world, Ollie started to be a bit aloof. Something was off. He was such an adorable baby that I was so happy to have stay with me. It wasn’t par for the course.
After awhile, he finally confessed what was wrong: he was jealous.
The bright lights of New York City excited him! HE wanted to go!
“Who? Who am I?” he would ask.
He didn’t want to stay in the small town just to grow up into another old owl sitting around and judging the same people he sees on the street every single day. There were plenty of humans to fit that role already.
He saw himself as something more. He knew the concrete jungle was where dreams were made of. There’s nothing you can’t do. (subject to the type of species you are, of course. Central Park Pigeon wasn’t in the cards for him)
He thought he could be that cute owl you always saw on the big screen!
He already created a bunch of roles for himself.
How about a romcom in the city where the couple keep seeing the same owl around the neighborhood and it becomes the talking point when they meet up? He could be a wing man (he loves that joke, me not so much).
Or maybe some recurring role in a cop show on basic cable where the owl always seems to be sitting at the scene of a crime when the cops show up. The owl saw it all happen. And going into the second commercial break, the owl just HAPPENS to fly to a piece of evidence that helps to uncrack the case. Not sure how the NYPD would feel about that.
Not a bad imagination for a baby that only knows the inside of a tree and never used a smart phone before.
So I let him hide inside me and tag along. I didn’t tell the bosses. They already paid me and cut me from the ground, anyway. What ya gonna do, put me back?
Now, Ollie, aka The Rockefeller Owl, has his fame.
Not from acting. Not from trying to impress people.
But being fully, authentically himself.
Cute. Adorable. Tweetable.
Maybe there’s a lesson in all of this. Maybe we should be ourselves more in our own lives. Maybe that’s what the world needs more of right now. Maybe that’s what those close to you need more than ever this year.
But seriously, though, the gas and tolls to get into the city were ridiculous. At this point, it wouldn’t hurt him to go halves on the bill.