It's Hoo I am

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story was inspired by the picture of the tiny owl. --- My wife tells me this is a children's story. So I guess anyone can read it.

Submitted: September 24, 2019

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Submitted: September 24, 2019

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This story seems to be about an Owl named Hoo-tally Windcheater. Also known as "Hoo" or "Little Hoo" to almost every one he knew.

Now Hoo was small, as far as owls go. Well what I mean to say is that Hoo was considered to be smaller than usual, even among his own family.

Hoo's family are owls that live underground, in burrows, and they are much smaller than any of the other owls.

Hoo didn't like being smaller than the other owls of his kind. But what could he do?

Hoo's father said, "Hoo, everything in nature has a reason for being the way it is; so there must be a reason for your size too."

***

 

One bright summer's day Hoo was flying over a field of flowers when a great eagle appeared overhead.

Hoo had been told that eagles eat owls, so Hoo looked for a place to hide. But there were no burrows to disappear into, so Hoo had nowhere to go.

Suddenly Hoo saw a flower-stem sticking above the field of flowers, but the stem had no flower on top. Hoo figured that some critter had eaten the flower but not the tall stem, so that is where Hoo landed; right on top of the flower stem.

Hoo remembered what his father had said about hiding from predators, "When there is nowhere to hide, hide in plain sight; they will never look for you there."

So as the eagle passed overhead, looking for food to take to her baby eagles, Hoo fluffed up his feathers so he would look something like a Dandelion, and sat very still.

It wasn't long before the eagle landed nearby and then it marched right over to Hoo. That is when the eagle opened its beak and was about to. ...

"STOP!" Hoo yelled.

The eagle closed its exceedingly large beak and looked at Hoo with astonishment. Then the eagle said out loud, "Did a flower just talk to me?"

Hoo didn't know what to do, he was trapped. The eagle apparently thought that Hoo was a flower, but she was going to eat him anyway.

"Eagles don't eat flowers," Hoo thought to himself. "So why was this eagle going to eat this flower?" He wondered.

So Hoo said, in the largest voice he could muster, "YES, I did talk to you! So what of it?"

"Flowers are not supposed to talk," the eagle said very matter-ah-factually.

Hoo quickly replied, “And eagles are not supposed to eat flowers!"

The eagle thought for a moment, then stated, "Too True. But when I saw you I thought, "What an unusual flower, I wonder what a flower like that would taste like? So I landed here to find out. And since I'm here, that is exactly what I am going to do. So prepare to die, talking flower!"

Hoo responded with the truth, by saying, "Hold on for a minute, if I'm going to die then I'm NOT going to die while living a lie.

The truth is, I am a burrowing owl, NOT a flower!

I had no burrow nearby to hide in when you came overhead, so I had to pretend to be a flower to save myself."

"Save yourself from what?" asked the bewildered looking eagle.

Hoo looked at the eagle in disbelief, then stated, "From you, of course. I knew that you were out hunting for food for your babies and I figured that I was a good candidate to be their lunch."

With that said the eagle started laughing, and she laughed so hard that it shook all the flowers around her, including Hoo's flower stem.

Hoo saw nothing funny about what he had said,

So he yelled, "What is so funny?

The eagle replied, "What's funny, I'll tell you what's funny! The very idea that you thought that you were going to be lunch for my babies, that is hilarious. You are too small; in fact, you are barely big enough to be a snack for one eagle chick, let alone the three that I have this year.

No, you will never be lunch for me and mine, little owl, but you were wise to own-up to who you are. It is far better to die in the light of truth than to live in the shadow of a lie."

And as the eagle finished those words it saw a rabbit on the hillside. Then it flew away.

 

Hoo was exhausted from his traumatic ordeal with the eagle, so he just continued to sit on the flower stem and rest.

And as Hoo sat on the flower stem a Hummingbird flew up to him and started licking his face.

Hoo scolded the hummingbird, by saying, "Hay, cut that out, I'm not a flower!"

The hummingbird immediately backed away from Hoo and replied, "You sure look like one.

"Well I'm not," Hoo stated, "I am small and have fluffy feathers, so I was able to pretend to be a flower so the eagle wouldn't eat me. But that didn't work very well. I almost got eaten because the eagle thought that I was a flower."

The hummingbird laughed and then replied, "Well I gotta tell you that pretending to be what you're not doesn't just affect you, it can affect everyone around you. And how it affects everyone is seldom good.

In this case, it affected you badly because you got licked in the face by a tongue covered in sweet sticky Goo, and it affected me badly because I'm the one who licked that bird-face of yours. Yuck!"

And just before the hummingbird flew off, it said with a chuckle in its voice, "So, if you will excuse me, I have to go find something to wash this taste out of my mouth, it's rather owlish.

***

 

Hoo was enjoying resting on the flower stem, so he sat there for a while longer. And as the summer breezes blew, he and his new found stem swayed, to and fro, with every change in wind's direction.

 

After a time, a raven landed not far from where Hoo was seated. She looked around and then hopped towards Hoo.

"STOP!" Hoo shouted.

And the Raven did stop just in time; otherwise she would have crashed into Hoo, stem and all.

After the Raven stopped, it turned its head to one side and with one eye it looked at Hoo very closely. Then she said, "You're not a flower! What in heaven's name are you?"

Hoo fluffed his feathers, looking insulted about the question. Then he replied, "I'm a burrowing owl, you farsighted Dit-Waddle!"

The Raven stuck her head in the air and rubbed her neck with one wingtip. And as she looked back at Hoo, she stated, "There is no reason to insult anyone, ever!

I thought that you were a Flower because you looked like a flower while seated on that flower stem. But now that you are moving around I can easily see that you are a tiny owl."

Hoo replied, "I'm sorry about the insult. But I'm not tiny, as you seem to think, I am just small for my age.

The Raven looked towards the sky and stated, "Ah, the advantages of being small, you are so very lucky.

If only I could be small, life would be so much better, being small makes it easy to hide in plain sight.

But being a Raven doesn't work that way, no, Ravens are always seen first.

And as the Raven flew away, Hoo thought about what she had said and realized that he wasn't a bad kind of small, he was a good kind of Stealthy.

***

 

Hoo was still enjoying the ride on the flower stem and having the summer breezes toss him, to and fro, with every change in direction. So he closed his eyes, enjoying the warmth of the sunlight, and rested there for awhile longer.

And once again Hoo was interrupted.

Hoo heard strange sounds. They sounded like, "Chomp, chomp, munch, munch, gulp," but not always in that order. Sometimes it was Munch, chomp, chomp, munch, Gulp; you get the picture.

So Hoo opened his eyes and looked all around. And on the stem, right below Hoo, was a great big worm.

And what's even worse, the worm was eating Hoo flower stem!

"Hay worm, Stop that!" Hoo demanded.

The worm looked up at Hoo and asked, "Are you talking to me?"

Hoo cocked his head to one side and replied, "Of course I'm talking to you! I said, Worm, didn't I?"

"That is my point, exactly," the worm replied, "I am not a worm, I'm a caterpillar. I have legs, see?

And after saying that the caterpillar lifted up one side of its body to show Hoo some of its legs.

Hoo was impressed, to say the least. He stated, "Wow, you have lots of legs. But why do you have so many?"

"I don't know," the caterpillar replied, "but I am sure there is a good reason for it. Otherwise, why would I have so many?"

"Good point," Hoo replied, "and even if you have too many legs, well, I guess it is better to have too many than not to have enough.

I guess it is all about living with what you were given to work with. Like, you having more legs than you know what to do with, and me, not being big. I guess both are assets that have saved our lives today."

"What do you mean by, "Saved our lives?" the caterpillar asked.

Hoo replied, "Well, today an eagle didn't eat me because I wasn't big enough to bother with. And now I am NOT going to eat you because I prefer worms over caterpillars; no offense, but all those legs tickle my throat."

The caterpillar replied, "No offense taken. And thanks."

***

Late in the summer the caterpillar became a beautiful butterfly and it flew off to faraway places.

But Hoo didn't go anywhere; he just stayed in his valley and was very content being the smallest of the burrowing owls.

 

 

D. Thurmond / JEF

09-22-2019


© Copyright 2020 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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