Hope and the Thing with Feathers

Publications Type: 
Magazine Article
Publication Number: 

Fischer, Adelheid. 2018. Hope and the Thing with Feathers. Zygote Quarterly. 22(1): 93-107.


To see a northern spotted owl, you must travel a two-lane highway for many miles, then make a turn onto an unmarked road and drive until the gravel slowly disappears under a swish of overgrown grass. You creep along until the path narrows, and the branches of young Douglas fir begin to pluck at your truck antenna like mischievous kids lining a parade route. You stop just as your front bumper grazes the massive trunk of a toppled tree, blocking you from going any further. Then—and only then—do you kill the engine and step out of the car.