Grand Duke & Duchess

From time to time we catch a glimpse of the great horned owl that lives nearby, but one evening at dusk we looked out our dining room window and saw two of them in the tallest tree in the woods beside us. From all the hooting we could hear, they appeared to be in a serious discussion. I prefer to call them by their French name, le grand duc; it suits them so well.

Grand Duke & Duchess owl
begin their evening discourse,
discussing matters of the realm.
Prowling cat pauses to eavesdrop,
glancing fearfully into the sky;
mother skunk gathers her kits
and hustles them into the den;
meadow mouse freezes,
shudders, then scurries away.
What tolls will the royals inflict
in their tour of the realm tonight?
Which of their subjects will pay?

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