An article in The Plumber’s Faucet recently confirmed what McGill’s student body has long suspected: Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier is not, in fact, a middle-aged woman with a passion for crystallography, but five owls stacked talon-to-beak in a medium-sized trench coat.
The allegations, brought forth in an article titled “10 Untold Truths about McGill University” by Steve Greenwood, a PhD student in the Arts Faculty, have ruffled feathers on campus. The piece not only alleges that the woman students affectionately call ‘Big Suze’ is actually a remarkably well-coordinated parliament of owls, but that these birds have turned the men’s varsity team mascot into a Horcrux.
Greenwood says he first became suspicious of Fortier when he overheard a faint hooting coming from her direction.
“When I discovered that she had 5 Horcruxes, I was suspicious,” Greenwood wrote in a message to The McGill Tribune. “A person really only needs one Horcrux.”
This fact led Greenwood to the conclusion that has rocked the McGill community: Fortier does not have one for herself, but rather each owl has its own Horcrux hidden somewhere on campus.
For those still unconvinced that Fortier is birds, observations of her behaviour back up this hypothesis. Eastern screech owls, Fortier’s suspected breed, are nocturnal and hide away in holes burrowed into the trunks of trees during the day, explaining why Fortier is only rarely sighted around campus.
Greenwood believes that her mannerisms are textbook owl behaviour.
“Fortier eats a higher-than-normal amount of worms and is always saying things like, ‘I’m actually five owls,’” Greenwood wrote.
One undergraduate student, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions in the way of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, stated that one evening, after returning from a particularly successful BdA outing, he and a few friends witnessed proof of Fortier’s true identity.
“It was messed up,” the student said. “Her head turned, like, all the way around, and she was looking at me with these crazy yellow eyes. I don’t know a ton about science [because] I’m an English major, but I do know that was no lady. It was just a bunch of owls.”
The news has led some to question whether five birds are enough to run one of the largest universities in Canada.
“Maybe it would be useful to bring in a sixth owl to help her out a bit,” Greenwood said.