Monday, March 22, 2010


The Owls Watch

On a branch in the top of the poplar tree, far down at the bottom of the garden, the owls sit,  watching.  Like a row of pious, brown cloaked friars they wait, silently wondering when the performance will commence.
  Knee deep in the carpet of emerald ivy, hidden away from the rapier gaze of the owls, a family of rabbits nestles shoulder to shoulder - patient, alert.
The mice nibble birdseed nervously, looking up, wishing again that they were taller.

 The navy blue big top sky is festooned with glittering stars, each a tiny spotlight to illuminate the stage set below.  Only the March wind dares to make a sound tonight.

Suddenly, the owls sit up straighter, lemon yellow eyes fixed in unblinking stares.
  A rabbit’s nose twitches.  
A mouse drops a sunflower seed.  

Look. There he is, the masked bandit of the midnight circus, making his way up the tallest pine tree.  Furry gasps are heard as this acrobat jumps to the highwire roof of the studio, and stops.  Has he lost his nerve?   No, no, here he goes... cautiously, carefully... one nimble paw in front of the other, his ringed tail following behind him like a convict’s shadow. 
 Never looking down...yes, that’s the trick.  
Perhaps he’ll make it to the other side tonight. 
 Perhaps he won’t get caught. 
 A hero raccoon at last.

But with a sound like a gun shot, a door flies open and the large white dog flies down the steps - roars down the pathway.  The dog looks up in growling shock to see the silhouette of the audacious bandit himself, a black cut-out in the dark blue sky, frozen precisely on the tightrope of the roof, impossibly high. 
The two creatures lock eyes.
 For a millisecond, all the world holds its breath.....then explodes. 
  A  fur-scurrying, feather-flapping, claw-sliding melee ... a cacophony of chattering, scrambling, barking, chirping, cheeping, as everyone runs from everyone else, clamboring up and over fences, diving headfirst into burrows, feetfirst into nests.
Then.  Quiet.
Indignant, the big white dog stands alone in the clearing and shakes himself furiously.   To get his fur back in place; to regain his composure.  With a final warning glare over his left shoulder and one last huruump to the darkness, he trots back up the pathway, satisfied that once again he has saved his family from certain danger.  What on earth would they do without him?  
Back through the silent garden he goes - back up the stairs, back into the house. 
Back to the warmth of his bed.  

While up, up, from their seats in the balcony, the owls watch.

49 comments:

  1. 100 marks out of 100 for bravery. And for agility ? How we laughed -PON owners will know exactly what you are describing. As for the owls they hardly warrant a bark.

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  2. Wonderful, Pamela, just wonderful. You had me from the first "row of pious, brown cloaked friars they wait" and just when I thought the coast was clear, the sound of a shot of fur. This could very much become a children's book, and you I love children's books.

    Bravo!

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  3. Dear Pamela, Edward, the hero of the day. Of every day, I am sure.

    A delightful tale, Pamela, with as always a keen observation to detail which draws the reader in. How wise the owls are!

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  4. Adorable story about Edward.

    Here's a quote for you:
    "I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the unihibited creatures we might be if we were't certain we knew better."
    George Bird Evans

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  5. Dearest..I wish I could write like you...this was sooo wonderful..would you like to join our little troup..traveling Nowhere..Please visit and let me know if you are interested..I can picture you as a beautiful owl..or maybe Edward would like to travel..

    Stay warm and stay happy...hugs from all of us..The Dutchess and Company..and The Fellowship of Nowhere..

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  6. Ooops....typo in my prior comment..."weren't"....sorry...I proofed too late!

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  7. Oh Edward, what a hero! What an engaging tale from start to finish, and I'm glad no rabbits were damaged in the telling

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  8. Hurrah for our hero who is Edward. Nothing phases him. His only job is to protect his family. What would you do without him, Pamela !! XXXX

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  9. I can hear it all and see it unfolding Pamela...., the gorgeous white dog, standing in the moonlight, declaring that he is ruler and master over this land, creatures everywhere perking their ears forward wondering....'what the?'....and then as quickly as it all happened, he turns, head tall and proud, back to his humble domain and then... peace and quiet reigns once again. Our Springer Spaniel declared the same at 1:30am the other night, you gotta love them for their devotion even though it can be most annoying at that hour of the night!
    Jeanne :)

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  10. what a lovely story!
    you're a great writer and Edward is a cool dog!
    the little owl on the left looks just like my pet owl Sita!!!
    have a wonderful sunday!

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  11. Pamela, that was so thrilling, I haven't caught my breath yet!
    Ah the Hero of the household holds his own again delivering all and sundry from the terrors of the night .... ... .. .

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  12. What a wonderful tale and so glad the owl didn't get the bunny! Hurray for the dog! :)
    hugs and friends,
    shell

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  13. It's so good written ! I enjoy while training my english. Thank you for that :)
    And I love the picture of the owls.

    Have a nice day
    xo
    Anci

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  14. A vivid and humorous account of animal turf wars. We've been having them lately, too -- but all of the participants are cats. Sometimes they remind me of the Sharks and the Jets.

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  15. I LOVE EDWARD - he's adorable - but I might be a little biased, I have a soft coated wheaten terrier, named Brie, or rather, my office assistant - she's asleep just shy of 'her' quilt on the couch right now - so typical, but she's happy - so who cares, life is too short to worry about upholstery!

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  16. How fabulously enchanting and wonderful!

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  17. Wonderful story telling Pamela..Brave Edward! You have a real gift..Cynthia

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  18. I LOVE this! So spot on...shaking his fur to regain his composure.

    Beautiful!

    Bravo!

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  19. Bravo Edward! another drama perfectly described. I am glad to hear that composure was restored and all is right with the world.

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  20. He is a clever boy that Edward....xv

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  21. Good old Edward - ridding the garden of a racoon and entertaining owls at the same time! You write so beautifully - I could picture the twitching noses, piercing eyes and stripey tail and hear the silence shattered by the bounding, indignant white dog:)

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  22. Wonderful word picture of an amazing adventure for the Big White Dog.

    And such a marvelous description of the picture of the 'brown cloaked friars' They look quite wise, and maybe a little smug and condescending.

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  23. Just lovely....brave Edward...You know I hear owls every night here..the Lodger wakes me regularly barking at their cries..but i have never seen one here...so elusive....xx

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  24. dear edward, you are so brave x

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  25. To the rescue of all creatures and I trust if ever his damsel is in distress! Good dog!

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  26. LOVE the everyone runs from everyone else! Great string of words - I see our animals doing the same thing. Only sometimes it is inside the house - cats and dogs, you know?

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  27. Dear Pamela
    I always knew Edward was a hero.. and now your wonderful words confirm it... How great it must be to have him as your constant companion... a teddy bear with heart!!! xx Julie

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  28. P AND E-


    Loved this,

    Very atmospheric. Loved the imagery--and a feeling of sound, too-wit--too-woo...

    Sorry i have been out of touch...tech situation to fix.
    Please be sure to look back over my last few posts--which I think some friends have missed due to tech problems.
    I think you would love my feature about
    VISITING MATISSE'S HOUSE AND STUDIO...
    cheers, DIANE
    www.thestylesaloniste.com

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  29. The protector of home and hearth~what would we do without you Edward?

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  30. Oh Pamela,
    Thank you for this! Owls are one of my favorite birds!!
    xx
    Greet

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  31. What a fascinating tale! And the owls as spectators! First circle seats. Lucky owls. Lucky bloggers who read gems like this. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  32. Edward the Wonder Dog does it again - how soundly you must sleep knowing this wonderful creature is protecting his kingdom and all that live within it! Leigh

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  33. Good for Edward! Love the pic of the owls! suzie xxx

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  34. Hello P&E,

    Such drama! I'm sure all the little creatures were grateful for Edward's decoy tactics!

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  35. Good boy, Edward!! He a wonderful protector of all he holds dear. Wonderful post, Pamela - as always -
    Judie

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  36. A wonderfully wonderful story!
    Sandra Evertson

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  37. I love, love, love your description of the racoon's "ringed tail following behind him like a convict's shadow"--just perfect. Oh, and that last huruump of Edward's is a charmer. He is definitely the hero of the day (and night)!

    Thanks, Pamela, for another magical tale! xo

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  38. I love your observations of the natural world, Pamela. I feel ready to go on a nature hike with the kids, your words echoing in my ear. Simply incredible.

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  39. I've always wanted a little owl for a pet, just like Meryl Streep had, in Out of Africa.

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  40. OH! I love this! Such Drama! And all the lovely & noble creatures... culminating like an Edward induced (noble Edward!) version of "The Mitten"...

    We heard the owl last night! I'm gripped by the excitement of spring!

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  41. I love how you write with such attention to each and every detail. By the end it were as if I were there watching your dear Edward chasing that nasty Raccoon with the owls keeping score. Raccoons scare me after my parents had a family of them literally rip their attic apart.

    Thank you Pamela, I enjoyed this piece very much. x

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  42. Oh Edward does make me laugh. What a courageous lad.

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  43. Animals at night. What they get up to that we don't ever see or hear!

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  44. Wow. You words are just amazing.

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  45. Always amazed how you can take a picture and turn it into such an interesting story, Pamela.

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  46. Speaking of owls - I've just become addicted to this live feed of a wild nesting pair of barn owls: http://www.ustream.tv/theowlbox#more . Can one be an Owloholic? :-)

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  47. What a wonderful story Pamela. I wasn't sure who the hero was for a minute as we don't have raccoons over here. I had to laugh at Edward seeing him off though. You must have a magical, mysterious garden which comes alive at night.

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  48. LOL!! This sounds like my house today only throw in some squirrels, a brindle greyhound, a sassy three year old little girl, long haired grey cat and a black and white Shetland Sheepdog! Lots of squeals, barking, hissing, and fur flying for sure:)...

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  49. This could very much become a children's book, and you I love children's books.
    home jobs india

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I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!