It’s officially Halloween season, and you never know what surprises you’ll see during this spooky time of year — look up to the skies and you might even see a flying broomstick.
That’s what citizens in Eureka, Illinois saw last year — but it wasn’t a ride for a wicked witch or wizard, but a great horned owl — a funny moment captured in viral video.
Eric Lind was at his parents’ house last October when his mother got a call from the neighbors, telling her to look outside. They had spotted an owl that was holding some unidentifiable object in its talons.
Eric went outside and realized the owl had stolen a children’s toy: “We quickly spotted the owl and could immediately recognize that it was carrying a stick horse,” he recalled to Newsweek.
The owl had taken an old fashioned stick horse, and looked like child playing cowboy. Then, it took off into the air — resembling a witch on her broomstick, just in time for Halloween.
Eric shared the footage on Facebook, hoping to perhaps get the stolen toy back to its owner: “If your child is missing their stick horse, you’ll have to talk to the owl,” he wrote.
The post went viral, with over 5.2 million views on Facebook. Thousands of people commented, with many saying it looked like a witch flying overhead. Others joked that the owl wanted to dress up as a cowboy for Halloween, or made references to Harry Potter and Quidditch.
“All it needs is the Wicked Witch of the West music,” one comment reads.
Some were concerned about the owl’s wellbeing, but Eric said there was no reason to believe the owl was injured or entangled in the toy. He also said that the owl belonged to a family of owls that have been part of the neighborhood for months.
Eric said he was surprised by how much the post blew up, but is glad it gave everyone a Halloween chuckle.
“I posted it because it brought a good laugh and smile to my family—so I thought others would enjoy it too,” he told Newsweek. “It has been great to read the comments by others who said it made them laugh or made their day.”
Nature is amazing — you never know what kind of funny and unusual things you’ll see animals doing right in your own backyard.
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