Interviewer: Collecting animal or bird figurines is a popular hobby. James is an avid collector of owl stuffed toys and figurines, and he has over fifty of them in his apartment. Today, he is here to tell us more about his impressive collection. James, why did you decide to collect owls?
James: Well … owls are beautiful and fascinating. Do you know an owl can sit perfectly still for hours on a tree branch to wait for its prey? Some species even have ear tufts, and can close their eyes and elongate their bodies when they feel threatened, making them appear like a piece of wood.
Interviewer: That’s amazing! I must say that of all an owl’s features, the most striking are its eyes.
James: Yes. An owl’s eyes can account for up to three per cent of its entire body weight, and because owls can’t roll their eyes around the way we do, they have to move their entire head to look at their surroundings. They can turn their neck 270 degrees in either direction without moving their shoulders.
Interviewer: That’s really cool! I wish I could do that too. So, when did you become fascinated with owls?
James: It started when I saw the first Harry Potter film in two thousand and one. I was ten years old and I thought Hedwig, Harry Potter’s owl, was the most beautiful bird I’ve ever seen. I persuaded my mum to buy me a stuffed owl right the very next day and that was the start of my collection.
Interviewer: Where do you get your owls from?
James: Anywhere and everywhere. Some of them are gifts from my friends. I also bought a few online.
Interviewer: Do you have a favourite owl?
James: No, not really. But I suppose a couple of them are quite special.
Interviewer: Tell me about them.
James: A few years ago, my aunt went on holiday in Italy and she visited a small island called Murano. Murano is well known for its long history of glass making and its glassware are very expensive. My aunt got me a small glass owl. It’s also the most expensive owl in my collection.
Interviewer: Wow! You must take very good care of it.
James: Yes, it’s very fragile. I dust it with a special brush.
Interviewer: I’m sure you do.
James: Also, last year, my colleague went to London for a work trip. She visited the studios where the Harry Potter films were made, and she brought me a Hedwig plush toy.
Interviewer: That sure took you back to where you started! Speaking of which, what is the most recent owl in your collection?
James: It’s an owl from Scotland. It’s called Hamish.
Interviewer: Oh! That’s an interesting name for an owl. Where did you get it from?
James: My mother bought him from a gift shop in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It wears a kilt, and even has a bagpipe on its back.
Interviewer: That’s adorable! Alright, we have come to the end of this week’s podcast. Thanks for sharing your collection with our listeners, James. It’s a pleasure having you with us.
James: Thank you.