Alan had this idea to open a gravy bar. After all,
everybody loves gravy. He would serve all kinds of gravy, not just brown and cream grave, but egg gravy and giblet gravy.
Onion gravy and vegetarian gravy and a really good red-eye gravy that his grandmother used to fix when he was a boy.
And he would even have chocolate gravy for those people just stopping in for dessert.
Admittedly, it was a really bad idea. I mean, who wants to eat just gravy? But
Alan was convinced that it would work if he found the right location. And he did, right between a bar and a pub on the
main drag in the Mississippi District. So he leased out the space and opened his gravy bar. Only business was
terrible, like that should come as any surprise.
Alan was convinced, though, that his problem wasn’t with the gravy. It was with the pigeons. There
were pigeons everywhere. Though a common misconception, Alan believed that pigeons were inherently dirty, and because
of that people didn’t want to come into his gravy bar, because they believed it was dirty, too. The solution,
Alan reasoned, was that the pigeons had to go.
Alan got himself one of those owl decoys – you know, the plastic owl that you set on your roof and it’s supposed
to scare away the other birds (especially pigeons) because they believe it is real. And it really worked, only not the
way that Alan had planned. You see, the owl decoy attracted real owls, and real pigeons are terrified of real owls.
And real owls there were. In fact, there were
all sorts of owls. Barred owls and Gray owls. Great Horned owls and Pigmy owls. Screech-owls (both Eastern
and Western) and little Northern Saw-whet owls, and even an unconfirmed sighting of a Spotted Owl. And one night, just
before dark, an Arctic owl dropped in just long enough to say she was there.
Once word got out, Alan’s gravy bar became a Mecca for every bird watcher in the tri-state
area and beyond. They came with their binoculars and spotting scopes, but they still didn’t stay for the gravy.
Until one day, when one of those who came to see the owls was a sweet young lady named Barbara, who also had a wonderful recipe
for biscuits. And the rest? Well, sometimes things don’t always work out like you planned, but they work
out just the same.