A moving account of raising, then freeing, an orphaned owl, whose lasting friendship with the author illuminates humanity’s relationship with the world
When ecologist Carl Safina and his wife, Patricia, took in a near-death baby owl, they expected that, like other wild orphans they’d rescued, she’d be a temporary presence. But Alfie’s feathers were not growing correctly, requiring prolonged care. And soon Carl and Patricia began to realise that the healing was mutual.
Alfie & Me is the story of the remarkable impact this little owl would have on their lives. The continuing bond of trust following her freedom—and her raising of her own wild brood—drew Carl and Patricia across the boundary into Alfie’s world, allowing them a view of existence from Alfie’s perspective. Interwoven with Safina’s reflections on humankind’s relationship with the living world across cultures and throughout history, Alfie & Me is a work of profound beauties and magical timing harboured within one upended year.
"Carl Safina has written a book of great wisdom and beauty, full of drama and insight. How right to choose an owl, symbol of learning, to help us see anew the twinned truths of compassion and connection—gifts our kind desperately needs to keep our world al" — Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus
"The rescue of a little screech owl brings Carl Safina the unexpected joy of companionship and propagation of the species, leading him to philosophize about humanity and how much we’re part of nature. A delightful read!" — Frans de Waal, author of Different
"This is a book about a foundling owl, and infinitely more. As it turns out, the universe and all its mysteries, our relationship with our wild kin and a better future for ourselves and the planet—all are reflected through the prism of an eight-inch ball of feathers named Alfie. Carl Safina has never been more eloquent, or more urgent. Alfie & Me is masterful." — Scott Weidensaul, author of A World on the Wing