"Well, hello," said the voice. It was an owl. A talking owl, but an owl nevertheless. "Who are you? Go on, speak up, young man! Don't be shy."
"I'm quite sorry, sir," the man said, tipping his hat. "I just don't know what to say to a creature of your sophistication, is all. You know. Being a talking owl and all that."
"Do owls not speak where you're from? Do birds not tweet? Do larks not lace the evening air with the sweet sound of song?"
"Well I guess they do, don't they?" The man smiled. "I never thought of it that way. You're pretty smart, aren't you?"
The bird blinked. Twice. "Well. I am a talking owl."