Fluff Thievery

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
An owl discovers something new, a squirrel tries to con him, and then life returns to, well, normal.

Submitted: May 25, 2017

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Submitted: May 25, 2017

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There once was an old and rather small owl.

This owl had taken up residence in a dead and mostly hollow tree. This hollow, he claimed as his own for most of his adult life. It was home.

The hollow had a perfect size hole, a front door if you care to call it that, for which the little owl could do his comings and goings.

The tree was located among a stand of trees and the stand of trees straddled a stream.

The trees were bordered, on two sides, by farms and farm fields. Then there were scrub-brush laden hills to the north-east and grasslands to the west.

It was the perfect setting for any owl's needs, so you can understand why the little guy stayed in the area so long.

When this owl was younger, all was well, but in his later years the winters were harder to endure.

Maybe the winters were getting colder, or maybe he was just getting old, whatever the reason he did not do well when the cold winds blew.

 

***

One winter evening the owl happened to be looking out of his hollow when he saw something moving in the farmer's field. Every time the wind would gust the object would start running across the tilled field, then it would abruptly stop.

"Judging by the size of it, I would say that is a rat out looking for a meal. And I do believe one of us will eat tonight," Owl thought, as he left his hollow.

The blustery wind was not helping Owl in his flight to dinner, but he was not deterred and soon sunk his talons into the critters back.

Owl was instantly skeptical about his ketch and thought, "A rat this size should weigh a lot more. And it is strange that it is not struggling. I have a sneaky suspicion that I may have nabbed something that I am not familiar with."

A little later and back at the hollow the owl was struggling with his prey.

"This creature has no body, it is of little use if I cannot eat it!" Owl thought, being both confused and angry.

Just as this little owl was about to push the fluffy critter out his front door, he noticed something; he felt warmer.

So he pulled the fluffy thing back from the opening and the winter air became stronger, allowing the cold breezes to come inside. And every time he pushed this fluffy thing to the opening of the hole, then the wind stopped coming in at such a high rate.

Owl thought to himself, "Hmm, this creature has nothing to offer, food wise, but its bodiless fur is a good buffer against the wind. Besides, it smells nice.

I do believe that I will keep it in here to see how I fair through the winter."

All winter long, the little owl would pull the bodiless creature away from the opening when he left the hollow, and then he would push it back at night when the cold winds howled.

One such night the wind blew so hard that it blew the fluffy creature away from the hole. Owl pushed it back several times but it would not stay there. Finally the owl got so tired of pushing it back that he just held it there with his body weight. That felt very cozy to him and he soon fell asleep.

Well, needless to say, Owl grew very fond of that thing that he called Fluff, and slept next to it all the time. If it was a very blustery night, then you would find them blocking the hollow's exit.

One such sleepy morning a sudden jerk occurred and the Fluff was gone.

The owl looked out the opening only to see his companion being carried away by a large squirrel.

Owl was enraged!

He jumped from his hollow and glided through the morning fog with the skill of a seasoned hunter.

The owl soon cornered the squirrel and told it, "Give me my Fluff and I will spare your life."

"A what," asked the squirrel?

"My Fluff!" stated the owl.

The squirrel snickered and replied, "This is a Sock, not a Fluff. People put them on their feet for some reason.

I have seen a few of them in my day, but I've never seen one folded into itself like this one is. It sure makes it easy to carry."

"I like the shape of it just fine and I don't care what you call it, it is mine and you took it from my hollow.

If I wanted to get it bloody then I would have killed you already, but I don't! So I will spare you if you leave it right where you stand, and go."

The squirrel thought for a moment and replied, "You are a small owl, that is for sure, and I have no doubt, given the right circumstances, that you could kill me. But you have neither the element of surprise, nor the size to overpower me now.

So I will make you a proposition. I will give the sock to you if you do something for me first. It is a small thing for you to do, but impossible for me; besides, it shouldn't take long."

"Well what is it?" Owl questioned.

"On the other side of the stream there is an oak tree so large it could hold a thousand squirrels. Do you know the one that I speak of?"

"Of course," replied Owl, "everyone knows of that Oak!"

Then the squirrel said, "In that tree lives a family of Jay-birds and they won't let me gather food from under it.

These birds are very afraid of owls, so all you have to do is drive them off. Then I can gather food from under the tree anytime I want to."

"That is an easy thing to do," replied the little owl. And afterward you will return my Fluff, right?"

Squirrel smiled a sinister smile and replied, "Of course I will, just as soon as I see the birds fly away."

Well, off flew the owl along the tree-line and he dipped out of sight near the stream.

 

"Stupid Owl," Squirrel thought out load, "Jay-birds don't live in Oak trees because Oak trees don't provide enough cover for their nests. Those birds prefer trees like Ficus trees, or very dense and large bushes, but never an Oak tree.

But hay, that's OK, now that I have sent him on a wild-goose chase I have time to escape with the sock. Boy is he going to be mad when he finds out what I did."

 

As Squirrel scurried across a clearing he spied some food nearby, so he dropped the sock to retrieve the food.

At that very second Owl had his element of surprise and used it to his advantage.

 

Afterward, Owl's voice was heard sayings, "Stupid Squirrel, everybody knows that Jay-birds don't live in Oak trees.

 

 

05-24-2017


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