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Books about Owls & Owlets - All Ages
Toys, Games, Gifts and Jewelry - Owls - Owlets
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Advice, comments and references from storytellers,
teachers and librarians



Book titles are in blue and underlined. Click on them to find out more about the books and how to buy them.
To retell these stories, get permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
In performance, always credit your sources.
Alphabetized for your convenience with short descriptions to save you research time.

Ages 4-8

Animal Lore & Legend: Owl (Animal Lore & Legend) by Diana Magnuson (illus), Vee Browneand Vic Warren (editors). (1995 - Ages 4-8) Retold by: Vee Browne.
A rare and welcome combination: American Indian legends paired with factual information on the habitats, species, food, characteristics, Indian names, and attendant spiritual qualities of owls and buffalo respectively. Three traditional tales are retold by a native writer, helping youngsters to understand the connection between storytelling and the natural world.

Bear's New Friend by Karma Wilson with Jane Chapman (illus). (2006 - Ages 4-8)
One summer morning, Bear heads out to play. He hears someone in the tree and thinks it might be his friend Mouse. But Mouse arrives and eliminates that possibility. So begins the guessing game that makes up the rhyming text as, page by page, the various woodland animals come on the scene narrowing the choices of the creature's identity. The refrain And the Bear asks, 'Who?' gives readers a heavy-handed clue...

Good-Night, Owl! by Pat Hutchins (illus). (1990 - Ages 4-8)
Owl couldn't sleep -- not while the bees were buzzing, the crows croaking, the starlings chittering, and the jays creaming. Every time there seemed to be some peace and quite, someone else landed in the hollow tree and woke Owl up again. Would Owl ever get any rest? Pat Hutchins's simple, cumulative story ends with a surprising twist that will send children off to sleep laughing.

Little Hoot by Amy Krouse Rosenthal with Jen Corace (illus). (2007 - Ages 4-8)
It's not fair! All Little Owl wants is to go to bed at a reasonable hour, like his friends do. But no . . . Mama and Papa say little owls have to stay up late and play. So Little Owl spends all night jumping on his bed, playing on the jungle gym, and doing tricks on his skateboard but he's hooting mad about it ! Children who have a hard time going to bed will love this fun twist on the universal dilemma.

Owl at Home (I Can Read Book 2) by Arnold Lobel. (1982 - Ages 4-8)
Welcome to Owl's cozy home. Owl lives by himself in a warm little house. One evening he invites Winter to sit by the fire. Another time he finds strange bumps in his bedroom. And when Owl goes for a walk one night, he makes a friend that follows him all the way home.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen with John Schoenherr (illus). (1987 - Ages 4-8)
Among the greatest charms of children is their ability to view a simple activity as a magical adventure. Such as a walk in the woods late at night. Jane Yolen captures this wonderment in a book whose charm rises from its simplicity. "It was late one winter night, long past my bedtime, when Pa and I went owling." The two walked through the woods with nothing but hope and each other in a journey that will fascinate many a child.
20th Anniversary Edition: Owl Moon: 20th Anniversary Edition

Owls by Gail Gibbons. (2006 - Ages 4-8)
Explores the mysterious world and workings of owls in her latest nonfiction picture book. Author depicts numerous species of owls and discusses their biological similarities as well as their differences. She portrays their ideal habitats, life styles, birth and development and environmental hazards that are threatening certain species. As usual, her comprehensive text is accompanied by clearly labeled illustrations and diagrams.

Sam and the Firefly by P.D. Eastman. (1958 - Ages 4-8)
The story of an incredible twosome that "provides interest, suspense and word repetition.

Whoo's There (Halloween Glow Books) by Charles Reasoner. (1999 - Ages Baby-Preschool)
Glow-in-the-dark treats for young ghosts and goblins! Whoo's eyes are those that shine so bright? It's a little hoot owl ready for Halloween night! These die-cut, rhyming, chunky board books come with a spooky surprise--glow-in-the-dark eyes that peek out from the first page and through the cover to give young trick-or-treaters a real touch of Halloween magic!

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Ages 9-12

First Collier, The (Guardians of Ga'hoole, Book 9) by Kathryn Lasky. (2006 - Ages 9-12)
Warlords vie for power and marauding outlaws roam the land. Good King Hrath and his queen, Siv, noble Spotted Owls struggle to keep peace in their kingdom. Grank, noble Spotted Owl, friend and supporter of King Hrath, has exiled himself to Beyond the Beyond, where he has developed his firesight and learns how to work with embers, fire and how to forge metals. He is the First Collier. Deep in a volcano in the farthest reaches of Beyond the Beyond, he discovers a magical Ember but fears its awful powers will be misused and hides it again.

Outcast, The (Guardians of Ga'hoole, Book 8) by Kathryn Lasky. (2006 - Ages 9-12)
Nyroc has exiled himself from the Pure Ones. He flies alone, feared and despised by those who know him as Kludd's son, hunted by those whose despotism he has rejected, and haunted by ghostly creatures conjured by Nyra to lure him back to the Pure Ones. He yearns for a place he only half believes in -- the great tree -- and an uncle -- the near-mythic Soren -- who might be a true father to him. Yet he cannot approach the tree yet...

Owl Puke: Book and Owl Pellet by Jane Hammerslough. (2003)
Kids love science-especially when it's hands-on-and kids love yucky stuff. What is an owl pellet? It's the football-shaped object regurgitated twice a day by owls, which contains the skeleton of at least one owl meal, be it a mouse, vole, shrew, or small bird. Used in elementary schools to teach the food web--but virtually unavailable at retail--a professionally collected, heat-sterilized owl pellet is now married to a lively, two-color illustrated book filled with facts and related activities about these most amazing birds.

Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat. (1996 - Ages 9-12)
The adventures of two owls who shake up an entire neighborhood and turn a house topsy-turvy.

Poppy (The Poppy Stories) by Avi with Brian Floca (illus). (2005 - Ages 9-12)
As ruler of Dimwood Forest, Ocax the hoot owl has promised to protect the mice occupying an abandoned farmhouse as long as they ask permission before "moving about." Poppy, a timid dormouse, is a loyal, obedient subject-until she sees Ocax devour her fiance and hears the owl deny her father's request to seek new living quarters. To prove that the intimidating ruler is really a phony, Poppy embarks on a dangerous and eye-opening quest, which ends with her one-on-one battle with Ocax.

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General Reference (no age specified)

American Indian Myths and Legends (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library) by Richard Erdoes & Alfonso Ortiz - ("Why the Owl Has Big Eyes" - pg. 398) (1985)
A rich, colorful, chaotic anthology. The 160 tales collected here come from a staggeringly varied group of tribes, from Pequod to Pima, Hopi to Kwakiutl, Snohomish to Iroquois, Yuma to Blackfoot. Some are taken from accounts by travelers and anthropologists; some are told by contemporary Indians (in English or various native tongues); some are highly traditional, some are new or personal elaborations on old material.

Enchanting Owl (The) by Connie Toops. (1990)

Encyclopedia of Myths and Legends by Gordon Stuart. (1993 - See Owl Lore)
A fascinating compilation of world folklore.

Folklore of Birds by Laura Martin. (1996)
Selected species are featured with natural history and folklore embellishing information about their habits and behavior patterns. Enjoy a folklore expose which blends black and white drawings with practical bird lore suitable for informational and leisure browsing.

Magic Orange Tree: and Other Haitian Folktales (The) by Diane Wolkstein. (Story: Owl) (1997)
File this under your folklore section and anticipate wide interest in a collection of Haitian folk stories, both from a literary and from a cultural perspective. Almost thirty stories gathered by Wolkstein provide strong literary pieces packed with diversity and varied themes.

Owls, Owls Fantastical Fowls, compiled by Krystyna Weinstein. (1986)

Owl Papers-V813 by Jonathan Evan Maslow. (1988)

Owls: A Guide to the Owls of the World by Claus König with Friedhelm Weick & Jan-Hendrick Becking (illustrators). (1999)
This book, along with recordings of the distinctive voices of owls on a double CD that may be purchased with it, is an invaluable aid to identifying owl species throughout the world. The book details owl ecology and reproductive behavior, describes three new tropical owl species, and presents 64 beautiful color plates of these elusive birds.

Owls of the World by Rob Hume with Trevor Boyer (illus) (1998)
Owls are an unusually homogenous order of birds; almost anyone can recognize an owl by sight or sound (though correct identification of the species can challenge even skilled birders). Worldwide in range (except Antarctica), owls are mostly forest birds, and deforestation threatens many species besides the well-publicized spotted owl. All 151 living species are described in Hume's well-written and not overly technical text and depicted in Boyer's fine (often, in fact, outstanding) paintings.

Owls: Their Natural and Unnatural History by Tony Soper and John Sparks with Robert Gillmor (illus). (1989)

Polgara the Sorceress (Malloreon (Paperback Random House by David Eddings. (1998)
Already a runaway bestseller in the UK, this latest doorstopper fantasy from the husband-and-wife team expands upon the events encompassing two huge five-book sagas, The Belgariad and The Malloreon, plus a sequel-cum-companion volume, Belgarath the Sorcerer (1995). This enormous tome focuses on Belgarath's daughter Polgara, the 3,000-year-old shape-shifting sorceress, and her tumultuous world of magic, one-eyed evil gods, kings, swords, orbs, and whatnot.

Understanding Owls: Biology, Management, Breeding, Training by Jemima Parry-Jones. (1998)
Owls are spectacular and fascinating birds, both in the wild and in captivity, with interest in keeping and breeding them rapidly increasing. The author shares her expertise, gained from a lifetimes experience of working with birds of prey, to give sound practical advice on how to care for these magnificent creatures, with chapters on housing and equipment, incubation and rearing, and training and flying owls.

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Products are listed in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more information.
Alphabetized for your convenience with short descriptions to save you research time.

Toys, Games and Gifts

Animal Texture Stamps with Stencils
3 years & up. Make learning about animals fun with these colorful, easy-to-grasp animal design stamps. Each stamp has a textured skin on the bottom for stamping. Includes 6 animal stamps and 6 stencil, one of each animal.

Crystal the Snowy Owl Plush Animal, 8"
This is an 8" soft and cuddly plush of "Crystal", a Snowy Owl. The Snowy Owl is an Arctic bird that will migrate south whenever the population of lemmings (a small rodent and the owl's major food source) decreases. The owl will hunt by both night and day since the daylight hours are longer above the Arctic during the summer months.

Hal The Horned Owl Plush Animal, 8"
This is an 8" soft and cuddly plush of "Hal", a Horned Owl. The Horned Owl is the largest of the American Owls. They are usually active between dawn and dusk. Their night vision and hearing are extremely acute. This makes the owl an excellent hunter.

Mini Spotted Owl Finger Puppet
A beautiful spotted Owl in miniature? What a hoot! As a puppet, he perches on your finger, ready to dispense owlish wisdom. Whooo could be cuter? 4" high.

Plush Barn Owl Puppet 13"
The barn owl's ethereal appearance matches its silent hunting style. Soft and light, this Barn Owl puppet's feathery plush in shades of brown, gray and white will charm you with its beauty while you animate its head and wings. 13" tall hand puppet.

Plush Snow Owl with Moving Head 16"
Hansa animals appeal to collectors and animal lovers of all ages. These hand-crafted and highly realistic cuddly plush toys represent animals from all over the world. Hansa are known and respected for their close-to-nature reproductions of the worlds best loved animals.

Robeez Infant/Toddler Owl Slip-Ons
With stylish, soft leather uppers and flexible suede soles for strong foot development, these comfortable slip-ons are endorsed by the APMA. Designed to slide on easily and stay on, these practical, washable shoes are made in Canada. You're sure to develop a special appreciation for the way they protect baby's feet and help her express her inquisitive personality at the same time.

Super Foam Owl Photo Frame (Pk/12)
Precut pieces make a wide-eyed pal "hoo" is perfect for fridge display. Magnet included! 9-3/4" x 7" with a 2-1/4" x 3" photo space. Pack of 12. S

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Charm, Sterling Silver Antiqued Owl Charm with 20 inch Sterling Silver Chain
Sterling Silver Antiqued Owl Charm with high polished 20 Inch Sterling Silver Snake Chain - This sturdy Sterling Silver Chain alone is a $16.00 value and stamped 925 Sterling - Picture shown above is not actual size, it is to showcase the fine craftsmanship and quality.

Earrings, Sterling Silver Owl Post Earrings
Sterling Silver Owl Post Earrings - in Sterling Silver - - FREE gift-ready jewelry box

Pendant, Sterling Silver Night Owl in Tree Scene with Amethyst Moon Pendant

Pendant, 10k White or Yellow Gold Diamond Owl Pendant (1/10 cttw, I-J Color, I3 Clarity), 18"
This charming owl pendant is a terrific addition to your collection. Available in your choice of 10 karat white or yellow gold, it has an open design, with genuine diamond accents (1/10 cttw) framing its watchful eyes. The pendant is completed with an 18-inch light rope chain. Enjoy it with the chain provided, or purchase a different gold chain of your choice.

Pendant, CELTIC OWL Uath Hawthorn Silver Tone PEWTER Pendant Necklace
Druid Animal: Owls symbolize wisdom and patience.
Highly detailed. This piece is a brand new fine crafted pewter pendant necklace. It is made from the highest quality 100% pewter inside and out. Nickle-free. Comes ready to wear with a jewelry black rope necklace or you could put it on your favorite chain. Just amazing!

Pendant, 14k Choice of White or Yellow Gold "Jewels of Nature" Diamond Owl Pendant (.06 cttw, G-H Color, I1 Clarity)
This charming owl pendant is beautifully designed in 14 karat gold and proudly displays its diamond-studded wings. Sixteen petite round diamonds (.06 cttw) decorate the wings, held in prong settings. The owl dangles below a tapered single bale and presents on a delicate 18-inch rope chain, finished with a spring ring clasp. This pendant makes a delightful gift for a collector or nature lover.

Pendant, 10k Yellow Gold Black & White Diamond Owl Pendant (1/6 cttw, I-J Color, I3 Clarity), 18"

Pins, Owl Baltic Amber Brooches Sterling Silver Pins 25 MM Long and 6 MM Wide
Adorable Owl Baltic Amber Pins made Genuine Sterling Silver. We offer you this pin at a below bargain price, Compare with any local store prices and you will realize it. Buy now to grab this opportunity.

Ring, Bling Jewelry Designer Inspired CZ Blue Sapphire & Champagne Wise Owl Fashion Cocktail Ring
The face of a wise owl creates this one-of-a-kind Designer Inspired Cocktail Ring. Dazzling blue sapphire cubic zirconium stones decorate the eyes. Meanwhile, the bulk of the ring is fleshed out with bright champagne Diamond CZs and clear-colored stones. A wide band holds the owl ring in place while rhodium plating delivers the high luster factor. Owl jewelry is a fave among the trendsetting set this season. A symbol of wisdom, owl fashion jewelry is for women of all ages.

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Music products are listed in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more information.
Alphabetized for your convenience with short descriptions to save you research time.

Great Smoky Mountain Frogs & Friends
This "Moonlight Serenade" was recorded deep in the Great Smoky Montains. It begins at dusk and continues 74 minutes into the night. The "sounds of the night" continually change as darkness descends upon the water. There are owls, crickets, tree frogs, bullfrogs, and a critter with the hiccups. Is it a frog? There are absolutely no human sounds on this CD -- only the pure, peaceful sounds of nature.

If You Ever See an Owl... by The Terrible Twos. (2007)
This CD, the Kansas act's debut, is all it's been cracked up to be, which is this year's preschool indie smash: Opener "Ladybug" gets liftoff from bright guitars and a vocal by frontman Michael Pryor, formerly of the Get Up Kids, that doesn't land hard but avoids over-softness, too; "A Rake. A Broom. A Mop. A Shovel." benefits from They Might Be Giants-style brilliance in the songwriting department; and more heartfelt songs like "The Littlest Houdini," about Pryor's son, head in a likable emo direction.

Sounds to Make You Shiver
Contents: A night in a haunted house, stitch laugh, Count Dracula and his victim, screams & groans, moans & groans, cats, dogs, banging shutter, phanton piano, creaky door, breaking window, thunder, wind, Frankenstein's monster breaks loose, hooting owl.

Voices of North American Owls CD by Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
On this 2-CD audio guide you'll hear nearly 200 tracks featuring the hoots, screams, chitters, squawks, squeals, bill claps and barks of 19 regularly occurring species of North American owls and two rarities. The most comprehensive guide to owl vocalizations available. Owls have a rich repertoire of sounds for communicating in the dark. A 56-page booklet with full-color images describes the wide variety of vocalizations made by each species.

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Online links are in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more stories and information.
Story titles are in quotation marks.
To retell any stories, get permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
In performance, always credit your sources.
Short descriptions included to save you research time.

Athena's bird was a little owl according to this site.
Owls in Mythology & Culture - The Owl Pages.

Choctaw Legends and Stories.

"The Day That Went Away"
There are times like other times and there are times like no time at all. There are days like other days and there are days that are not. One morning that started a day unlike any other day, Monkey awoke with water dripping onto his big nose—drip dro; drip drop—at first Monkey thought it was a bad dream, but no, when Monkey opened his eyes he saw another drop of water forming on the ceiling of his nest and as he watched, the drop separated from the ceiling and fell PLZIZZZ PLOP! right onto his big nose and then it splashed in a million directions.... (click on the link for the rest of the story).

"How Rabbit and Owl Were Formed" - Iroquois Creation Legend.

Iroquois folklore, gathered from the Six nations of New York.

Owl Pages.

The Owl Pages   - Detailed descriptions of different species, including photos and sounds. Also includes mythology, art, books, and collectibles. Comprehensive.

Owl superstitions.

Owls - basics.

Owls in English folklore.

Owls in Lore and Culture, page 4.

Owls: Just Plain Interesting From Environment Newsline.

Owls of Honolulu XVIII.

"Search For Fire" - Achomawi and Atsugewi Tales.

Seneca Indian Legends - "The Hunter and the Owl."

"Wise Owl" - A Woodland Indian Myth.

World Owl Mythology - The Owl Pages. Interesting tidbits from around the world.

Zulu stories explain why things are the way they are and the reasons behind animal behavior and appearance.

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Advice, Discussion and References from Storytellers, Teachers and Librarians
(excerpts from Storytell posts plus original research)

Book titles and online links are in blue and underlined. Click on them for more information.
Story titles are in quotation marks.
To retell any stories, get permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
Storytell posts are added as they are received by Story Lovers World.

1) Animals Represented in Mythology and Folklore

1. (Greek) The emblem of Athens, and therefore the symbol of Athena.
2. (Greek) The owl was sacred to Demeter, and was regarded as prophetic.
3. (Celtic) The magical aspect of the owl is prominent in Celtic myth. It was also an attribute if Gwynn, the Celtic god of the underworld. It was considered a bird of darkness, the "corpse bird".
4. (Hebrew) It represents blindness and desolation, and is considered unclean.
5. (Vedic) Yama, god of the dead has the owl as an attribute, and sometimes used it as a messenger.
6. (China/Japan) It signifies crime, or ungrateful children. In China it is associated with thunder and the summer solstice.
7. (Ainu) Eagle Owl is revered as a messenger between gods and men; Screech Owl warns against danger; Horned Owl and Barn Owl are demonic and evil.
8. (AmerIndians) The owl is called the Night Eagle and is the bird of sorcerers.
9. (Australia) The aborigines say the owl is the messenger of the evil god Muurup, who eats children and kills people.
10. It was considered the bird of death in Central/North America, China, Egypt, India and Japan.

Owls are sometimes viewed as evil omens, sometimes as wise sages. A few North American Indian tribes believed that witches could assume the bodies of owls and fly about at night. In Africa, owls were thought to kill for witch doctors. Owl eggs were believed to be a cure for alcoholism in many parts of Europe while the ancient Greeks thought that the owl was the husband of Athena, the goddess of wisdom.

3) Has anyone mentioned yet that Polgara and her mother turn into snowy owls in David Eddings' books ( Polgara the Sorceress (Malloreon (Paperback Random House ) ?

4) Merlyn's owl Archimedes is a character in the book as well, and an entertaining one, too. When the Wart says "I shall call him Archy," Merlyn says, "I trust you will do nothing of the sort," and the owl becomes quite cross. "Might as well call me Wol," he says, and adds bitterly "or Ollie." The Wart himself becomes an owl, his first trip out. He eats a mouse and finds to his surprise that the fur tastes nice, like the fuzz on a peach.

5) Looking for "Owl's Tear Drops"... about an owl telling sad stories and collecting one tear drop at a time in a tea cup until he had enough for a cup of tea.


You're looking for a chapter in Arnold Lobel's book Owl at Home (I Can Read Book 2). The story is called "Tearwater Tea." It's lovely! Actually, I'm a big fan of Lobel... Grasshopper on the Road (I Can Read Book 2), the eternal The Frog and Toad Collection Box Set (I Can Read Book 2) series, and of course, Fables. Great stuff!

6) Query:

"Owl Was a Baker's Daughter"
Does anybody know an original source for the story of the baker's daughter who was punished for selfishness by being turned into an owl? Ophelia mentions this story in Hamlet. Many references summarize the story. I'd like to reference a period source ... where Shakespeare found it, or in whose collection the full text first appears.


a) I'd hazard a guess and say the Gesta Romanorum Or, Entertaining Moral Stories. It's a large collection of moral tales, and was a top bestseller in Elizabethan times. I know that Shakespeare got at least a couple of his stories / plots from it, and the story sounds the kind that might be in there. Dover did a reprint edition that seems complete but is apparently quite a bit smaller than the original.

b) I found the info. It was in my rather mammoth version of the Complete Illustrated Shakespeare, edited by Sir John Gilbert and Ray Abel. Apparently Ophelia is telling a Biblical-oriented tale which follows thusly: "This alludes to a tradition still current in some parts of England: "Our Saviour went into a baker's shop where they were baking, and asked for some bread to eat. The mistress of the shop immediately put a piece of dough into the oven to bake for him; but was reprimanded by her daughter, who, insisting that the dough was too large, reduced it to a small size. The dough, however, immediately afterwards began to swell, and presently became of a most enourmous size. Whereupon the baker's daughter cried out 'Heugh, heugh, heugh,' which owl-like noise probably induced our Saviour, for her wickedness, to transform her into that bird." So there at last, is an answer to that question. Thank God I have this book. I shall show it to you some time. Its weight is tremendous, both physically and mentally.

c) The above text, according to The Penguin Book of English Folktales was "contributed by Douce to Malone's Variorum Shakespeare (out of print), 1821, Vol 7, p426. Narrator: Unknown, Gloucestershire. Type: AT751 The Greedy Peasant Woman and "there is a longer Herefordshire version in Halliwell's Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales of England, in which the punishment is inflicted by a fairy, not Christ." Presumably the story appears in Douce's _Illustrations of Shakespeare_ (1807); Douce did write on the Gesta Romanorum Or, Entertaining Moral Stories, but in my experience that doesn't contain this kind of pseudo-Biblical legend. The Variorum was an edition with various commentaries and commentator attempts to explain allusions in the text. Shakespeare presumably knew a story somewhat like the above, but we don't have an actual source - which might even have been "the oral tradition"; there were a lot of medieval stories which "explained" different things, or justified charms, by reference to extra- Biblical events in Jesus' life.I have found a very similar German story, recorded in Czechoslovakia, where there is no daughter but each time the woman takes a piece of dough and shapes the cake, it looks too big so she takes a bit off an starts again, until the dough is all gone, and this time Jesus changes her into a black woodpecker and she flew out of the chimney, hence the black I presume. And because she was wearing a red hood, the bird has a red head. According to the editor, the European distribution is especially prominent in the east and north of the continent, but there exist Chinese parallels.

d) At this point in Hamlet, Ophelia references the story in the middle of a stream of nonsense. There are some other places where Shakespeare expects the audience to "get the joke" and recognize some commentary or foreshadowing. As far as I can tell, in this example, he's only demonstrating that Ophelia has gone mad. The theme of the story doesn't seem to apply to the play. I've only got the Abbey Library edition of Shakespeare at home.

e) re Ophelia in Hamlet: The theme of the story can be connected with the dramatic fate of all the characters in the play. The baker's daughter has mistaken Christ for an ordinary customer and so she reduces the dough accordingly. The characters in Hamlet all make mistakes about the dramatic actions they are faced with. In this sense they all reduce the complexity of what is going on (or not going on). They each have a simple solution to the crisis in the Kingdom. Ophelia has been overwhelmed by the judgment of events that has befallen her and hence she has gone mad. Her words tell of the consequence of the judgment of fate (Christ). She is telling the King that while we may "know what we are", we "know not / what we may be". That is, while the King may know that he is currently the King, this does not mean that he might not become something else.

f) The story is also a little bit similar to "God's Food" in Grimm.

g) This has been one of my favorite tales since childhood, but the variant I know and tell is Norse. It's very much like the German one that Philip Anderson found, except that it wasn't the Lord or a fairy - just a beggar with magical powers who turns the woman into a woodpecker. I'll have to go back and look at my original copy to see if I remember it correctly! It was fascinating to see these other variants. I looked in the Storytellers Sourcebook: A Subject, Title, and Motif Index to Folklore Collections for Children, 1983-1999 and found yet another, an African American version found in Diane Goode's Book of Scary Stories and Songs (Picture Puffins) and Virginia Hamilton's Her Stories (Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner) as well as in MacDonald's When the Lights Go Out: Twenty Scary Tales to Tell (A1958.0.2) Three conjure women refuse food and entry to one who knocks on the door. Dough they place on stove fills house and they turn into owls and fly off. Conjure wives refuse to open door for threatening voice. Put bit of dough on fire for it. Dough grows and fills house. Wives fly out of windows calling, 'Who'll cook for you? Who?' Turn to owls. On Halloween turn back to conjure wives." What fun! I'd love to see the Chinese variant, if anyone finds it.

7) Wives fly out of windows calling, 'Who'll cook for you? Who?' Turn to owls. Where I live the most common owl is the barred owl. I was taught the way to imitate its call is to say "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?" I thought that was a Southern tradition because of the "you-all". It's fun to see it has other connections.

8) Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays by Mary Oliver. (2003)
Within these pages Mary Oliver collects twenty-six of her poems about the birds that have been such an important part of her life-hawks, hummingbirds, and herons; kingfishers, catbirds, and crows; swans, swallows and, of course, the snowy owl, among a dozen others-including ten poems that have never before been collected. She adds two beautifully crafted essays, "Owls," selected for the Best American Essays series, and "Bird," a new essay that will surely take its place among the classics of the genre. In the words of the poet Stanley Kunitz, "Mary Oliver's poetry is fine and deep; it reads like a blessing. Her special gift is to connect us with our sources in the natural world, its beauties and terrors and mysteries and consolations." For anyone who values poetry and essays, for anyone who cares about birds, Owls and Other Fantasies will be a treasured gift; for those who love both, it will be essential reading.

9) There's the story about the Bullfrog. We've all heard bullfrogs around a pond. You don't even have to be right next to the pond to hear them. Seldom do we think about that loud sound coming from an individual frog.

Croaking with a sound so loud it would damage its own hearing, a bullfrog's ear construction and position is such that the sound of its own croaking is cancelled out. It literally cannot hear itself croaking.

Now of course, it's human nature to think about the couple of people you know who have this trait. They croak loudly, with an inability to hear themselves. But this can be problematic for animals, too.

Such as the story of "Independent Owl."

Independent Owl was called this because he wasn't nocturnal like the other owls. So Independent Owl slept during the evening. The only side effects from his non-nocturnal habits was that he was a much thinner owl, due to a more limited food supply during daylight hours, and that the crows tended to cackle loudly and harass him whenever he flew some place. So Independent Owl was used to problem solving.

But when Bullfrog began croaking loudly during the night, Independent Owl couldn't sleep. And when Independent Owl confronted Bullfrog on this fact, Bullfrog had no idea what Independent Owl was talking about. "I don't hear anything when I croak," said Bullfrog.

So Independent Owl set out to find a way for Bullfrog to hear himself. Being this was the forest and fields, tape recorders are not that available--and most difficult to work with feathers anyway--Indy Owl had to use his gifted wisdom to figure something else out.Brilliant and wise as Indy Owl was, he convinced Bullfrog to come on a little trip with him. He did this by threatening to eat Bullfrog if he didn't come with him.Bullfrog, having little choice in the matter, allowed Indy Owl to gently clutch him in his talons and fly him off to a large cliff over looking the entire valley. There, on top of the cliff, Indy Owl set down Bullfrog and instructed him to croak. Under threat of being dinner, Bullfrog began to croak. Indy Owl cut him off and told him to listen. In a few seconds a sound came from the valley that frightened Bullfrog immensely. "That's you," said Indy Owl."No way," said Bullfrog.
"Croak again," said Indy Owl. And Bullfrog did.The same sound came back again. Indy Owl looked at Bullfrog like this was sufficient evidence, but Bullfrog just shook his head no. "There's no way I'm making that noise," said Bullfrog.

So Indy Owl ate Bullfrog for dinner.

Greg L. 9/23/05

10) Shakespearean quotes about owls...
What Shakespeare Said ...Yesterday, the bird of night did sit,
Even at noonday, upon the market place
Hooting and shrieking"

Julius Caesar "
The screech owl, screeching loud
Puts the wretch that lies in woe
In rememberance of a shroud" "The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders
At our quaint spirits"

Midsummer Nights Dream

(in previous centuries, the Barn owl was known as a scritch (or screech) owl in Britain because of its piercing call)
"It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman
Which gives the stern'st goodnight"

"A falcon towring in her pride of place
Was by a mousing owl hawked at, and killed"


"Go home to bed and like the owl by day
If he arise, is mocked and wondered at"

Henry VI
"When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl
Then nightly sings the staring owl
Tu-wit, tu-woo
A merry note
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot"

11) "Big Owl Chops Off His Manhood" - A White Mountain Apache Legend
Long ago they say. This is a story about Big Owl's manhood Up near tl'uk'a-gai (Fort Apache district), there is a big rock called tse-sizm (rock standing up, Saw Tooth Mountain). Big Owl was going along to the foot of this rock. He was carrying his manhood with him and following the trail over by ya-gogaidje-lk'id (a place). He kept on toward tse-sizin, still carrying his manhood with him. In those days it was very long, so long that he had to carry it wrapped around his body. Then he went on down to the river (White River). Across the river was a woman going down to tse-Hsan'iska-d (a place) above the river on the ridges. Big Owl crossed the river, carrying his manhood with him. That woman saw him then. She was very hungry and so she started down a ridge to Big Owl, because she thought that big load Big Owl was carrying might be something good to eat. When she got to him she said, "Big Owl, give me some of what you are carrying there." "What I'm carrying is no good to eat," said Big Owl."Anyway give me some, I'm hungry " the woman said. "You can't eat this," Big Owl said. But the woman told him, "Give me just a little." "All right, turn around, bend over and lift up your dress," Big Owl said. The woman did so, and Big Owl unwrapped his manhood from around his body. Then it became stiff, went way out to the woman and knocked her down on the ground. The woman got up and Big Owl wrapped his manhood around himself again....

The rest of the story is at:

12) "The Owl Gets Married" - A Cherokee Legend
A widow with one daughter was always warning the girl that she must be sure to get a good hunter for a husband when she married. The young woman listened and promised to do as her mother advised.At last a suitor came to ask the mother for the girl, but the widow told him that only a good hunter could have her daughter. "I'm just that kind," said the lover, and again asked her to speak for him to the young woman. So the mother went to the girl and told her a young man had come a-courting, and as he said he was a good hunter she advised her daughter to take him. "Just as you say," said the girl. So when he came again the matter was all arranged, and he went to live with the girl.The next morning he got ready and said he would go out hunting, but before starting he changed his mind and said he would go fishing. He was gone all day and came home late at night, bringing only three small fish, saying that he had had no luck, but would have better success tomorrow. The next morning he started off again to fish and was gone all day, but came home at night with only two worthless spring lizards (duwë'gä) and the same excuse. Next day he said he would go hunting this time. He was gone again until night, and returned at last with only a handful of scraps that he had found where some hunters had cut up a deer. By this time the old woman was suspicious....

The rest of the story is at:

13) "Why The Owl Has A Spotted Coat" - A Cherokee Legend
The owl had a girl friend that he loved very much and the time had come for him to meet her parents. Now owl knew he was not the best looking creature on this earth and didn't want anyone to see his face. He thought and thought of a way to hide his face from her parents because he was afraid they might not let him marry her if they saw how ugly he really was.The time came when he was to meet her parents, on this very important evening he had a plan. As he came into the house he stood in the shadows, just outside the reach of the fire's light. As the evening progressed he seemed to relax just a bit but he never came out of the shadows. When the evening had ended and owl left for the night, both parents began to express their favoritism of the owl. They even remarked....

The rest of the story is at:

14) "Why The Owls Stare" - A Choctaw Legend
Once upon a time Owl and Pigeon met and talked just like folks."There are more owls than pigeons," boasted Owl."No," said Pigeon, "Many more pigeons. I challenge you to count numbers!""Agreed," responded Owl. "The big woods is fine place. Plenty trees for everybody.""Fine. A week from today will give time to notify all owls and pigeons," Pigeon said.On day to count owls come first. Trees were full of owls. They laughed and said, "Oowah - wah - wah! " They were surethere could not be as many pigeons. Owls were all over the place.Soon they heard roar from east, then roar from south and roar from north....

The rest of the story is at:

15) "Eskimo Story Of Owl And Raven" - An Eskimo Legend
Owl and Raven were close friends. One day Raven made a new dress, dappled black and white, for Owl. Owl, in return, made for Raven a pair of Whale-bone boots and then began to make for her a white dress. When Owl wanted to fit the dress, Raven hopped about and would not sit still. Owl became very angry and said, "If I fly over you with a blubber lamp, don't jump." Raven continued to hop about. At last Owl became very angry and emptied the blubber lamp over the new white dress. Raven cried, "Qaq! Qaq!" Ever since that day Raven has been black all over.


16) "How Rabbit And Owl Were Created" - An Iroquois Legend
Raweno, the Everything-Maker, was busy creating all the types of animals. One day he was hard at work on Rabbit. Rabbit said to him, "I want long, strong legs and long ears like the Deer, and sharp teeth and claws like the Panther.""I do them they way they ask for them to be," said Raweno. He made Rabbit's hind legs very long, just the way Rabbit had described.Owl, still not formed, was sitting on a tree nearby waiting his turn. "Whoo, whoo," he sang, " I want a long graceful neck like Swan's, and bright red feathers like Cardinal's, and a nice long beak like Egret's, and a beautiful crown of plumes like Heron's. I want to be the most beautiful, fastest and wondrous of all birds.""Hush," said Raweno. "Turn around and look somewhere else. Close your eyes too. Don't you know that you are not allowed to watch me while I work?" Just at that moment Raweno was making Rabbit's ears quite long, just as Rabbit had asked him for.....

The rest of the story is at:

17) "The Owl Husband" - A Passamaquoddy Legend
In many tribes the owl has a sinister meaning. In the Northwest the owl calls out the names of men and women who will die soon. Among the Sioux, Hin-Han the owl guards the entrance to the Milky Way over which the souls of the dead must pass to reach the spirit land. Those who fail the owl's inspection because they do not have the proper tattoo on their wrists or elsewhere are thrown into the bottomless abyss. Among some nations, on the other hand, the owl is a wise and friendly spirit, an advisor and warning giver. A Passamaquoddy tale depicts the owl as having love medicine and a magic love flute -- powers that the Plains people attribute to the elk.A man and his wife lived at the edge of their village near a stream. They had a beautiful daughter whom many young men wished to marry, but she was proud, no suitor pleased her. Her father, caught between his daughter's haughtiness and the rejected suitor's anger, hoped to appease both by promising to give his daughter to the man who could make the embers of his hearth blaze up by spitting on it. Naturally, since spitting tends to put a fire out rather than kindle it, none of the young men succeeded.There lived in the village an old woman whom many suspected of possessing evil powers, and their suspicions were well grounded.....

The rest of the story is at:

18) "Grandfather Gray Owl" - A Pima Legend
A long, long time ago, when the world was new, Ban (Coyote) stole an old woman's chu'i (pinole). The chief of the village chased the thief.To escape, Ban flew to the sky, spilling the white chu'i across it. The chief flew after him. When he caught the culprit, he angrily picked him up and flung him to the moon.Thus on a bright moonlit night, the desert Coyotes look up to the sky. They see the Coyote in the moon and wail for their brother.And when you look up at the sky, you can still see the pinole scattered all across it.

* Note: This story was used as a teaching tool to teach children not to steal or they might end up like Coyote in the moon.

19) "Owl And His Jealous Wife" - A Seneca Legend
There was a man and wife, O'Ówa People (owls), who quarreled every night. When morning came, all. was pleasant again.One night a visitor came and as soon as O'Ówa saw him, he went out of the house and off into the woods. The visitor said, "It is strange that O'Ówa went just as I came. I will go, and come another time."After a while O'Ówa came back. He was jealous and scolded his wife till they began to fight. He beat her and then started off, saying, "I am going to get another wife; I'll not be bothered this way."The woman followed him, crying. At last he grew sorry and went back with her. In the morning he said, "had a dream and it told me I must kill a bear and be back before the dew is off the grass."He started, but when out of sight....

The rest of this story is at:

20) "How The Coyote Joined The Dance Of The Burrowing-Owls" - A Zuni Legend
You may know the country that lies south of the valley in which our town stands. You travel along the trail which winds round the hill our ancients called Ishana-tak'yapon, which means the Hill of Grease, for the rocks sometimes shine in the light of the sun at evening, and it is said that strange things occurred there in the days of the ancients, which makes them thus to shine, while rocks of the kind in other places do not, you travel on up this trail, crossing over the arroyos and foot-hills of the great mesa called Middle Mountain, until you come to the foot of the cliffs. Then you climb up back and forth, winding round and round, until you reach the top of the mountain, which is as flat as the floor of a house, merely being here and there traversed by small valleys covered with piñon and cedar, and threaded by trails made not only by the feet of our people but by deer and other animals. And so you go on and on, until, hardly knowing it, you have descended from the top of Middle Mountain, and found yourself in a wide plain covered with grass, and here and there clumps of trees. Beyond this valley is an elevated sandy plain, rather sunken in the middle, so that when it rains the water filters down into the soil of the depressed portion (which is wide enough to be a country in itself) and nourishes the grasses there; so that most of the year they grow green and sweet.Now, a long, long time ago, in this valley or basin there lived a village of Prairie-dogs, on fairly peaceable terms with Rattlesnakes, Adders, Chameleons, Horned-toads, and Burrowing-owls. With the Owls they were especially friendly, looking at them as creatures of great gravity and sanctity. For this reason these Prairie-dogs and their companions never disturbed the councils or ceremonies of the Burrowing-owls, but treated them most respectfully, keeping at a distance from them when their dances were going on.It chanced one day that the Burrowing-owls.....

The rest of this story is at:

"The Tree That Went Walking" by Thelma Palmer
One of the articles in Economics In An Intellegent Universe (IC#2)
Spring 1983, Page 57
Copyright (c)1983, 1996 by Context Institute
One of the strategy suggestions in the last issue of IN CONTEXT was writing children's stories that communicated values related to a humane sustainable culture. I'm certainly delighted with this first response, and look forward to more storytelling wonders from our rich network. Thelma lives on Guemes Island in western Washington.THE YOUNG CEDAR stood alone at the edge of the high bank overlooking Samish Bay. It was a beautiful place to live. Across the blue water could be seen Mount Baker white with snow all year long and hot with secret fires that sent tall steam plumes far into the Northwest sky.

Serena had loved the tree very much ever since she was a little girl. Because she had no playmates on the small island, she would often go to the tree and sit hidden under the low graceful branches that swept to the ground. There in the small green room fresh with the fragrance of cedar, she would play imaginary games with imaginary playmates, and shelter from rain and sun.As Serena grew older and taller, however, she began to climb into the limbs of the cedar. At first she would just sit and hold tight to the trunk and look across the water for sea birds and whales and name the names of islands in the distance. One morning she sat so still, hidden among the feathery limbs, that a great blue heron flew in across the bay and perched there, too. It was then for the first time that the tree seemed alive to Serena. It ruffled itself ever so slightly in a light embrace as though it liked having Serena and Blue Heron perched within her limbs.As the years went by Serena climbed higher and higher into the cedar tree. Sometimes she would take a book with her and stay for hours reading and watching across the water. Once a great pod of black and white whales swam along the shore below her high perch and blew their Orca songs up into the limbs of the tree. It was a mighty and mysterious music. Often, in the distance, flotillas of grebe peppered the blue water to black, and flocks of snipes flashed their feathers to shimmer of silver against the dark islands. And all the while as Serena watched, it was as though the tree she loved was watching, too.

Life was not always easy for the tree growing as it did on the high bank of north shore, for in winter, great storms often blew in from the ocean. Then the tree would toss and moan in the fury of icy winds, but because the wood of cedar is so strong and the limbs of cedar so flexible, the half-grown tree seldom lost more than a small branch.During a wild and bitter storm one winter night, the wind howled at the girl's window high under the eaves and tore furiously at her beloved tree. In her troubled sleep Serena dreamed she was running across the field toward the tree that was in danger of being blasted away by the screaming wind. Her dream feet sank into the earth as she struggled toward the bank and she could scarcely move though she tried with all her strength. At last, as she neared the tree, she saw the dream truth: the tree was no longer a tree but a tall and beautiful woman shining and wet, her long green coat blowing in the winter storm. She was calling to Serena."My name is Dryad," called the tree-woman. "I have lived on the earth longer than human beings. My roots grow deep in the earth and my limbs lift high into the heavens. Do not fear for me, Serena. I will survive the storms. It is only man's axe that I fear."When Serena wakened in the morning, the storm had passed and a light rain was falling. She ran to her window to see if the storm had done any damage. There were many branches of firs and other trees scattered across the field but not a limb lost from the cedar tree that called herself Dryad. And though Serena had felt for many months that the tree was a living being, as she ran to her that morning, she was certain."Adie, Adie," the girl called to the tree. "You're safe, you're safe!" and Serena scrambled into the branches beaded with rain and hugged her until she, herself, was as wet as the tree.On warm spring nights when the moon was bright, Serena often climbed into Adie's arms and Adie would whisper stories to her. Stories she knew through her roots that grew far into the earth: stories of pure dark rivers that flowed deep inside and nourished earth spirits of all kinds. Stories of serpents who, when they were tired of slithering, took their tails in their mouths and rolled like hoops along underground caverns. Stories of an earth creature named Golden Goshen who glittered as he magicked spring roots to life and only came out of the earth in dreams to delight children who loved gardens and woods.Adie told Serena stories of birds and their nests; stories of wild storms and gentle breezes that helped trees know what it was like to move because, after all, trees had to stay where they were. They could not go out walking, even though they sometimes longed to move about like other living creatures.Not long after Serena's dream, a small owl with very large eyes began spending many of his nights in Adie's branches. Adie liked having him there very much because, somehow, she could see through his eyes too, and her night vision was greatly improved. Drifting off to sleep in her bedroom, Serena could often hear Owl's soft hooting throbs high in Adie's limbs, and instead of sleeping it was as though Serena flew into another world of wings and voices and wonderful gardens that she could never quite recall when she wakened in the morning....

The rest of the story is at:

23) Some Samoan Legends
"The Canoe of Lata"
There was a period of vigorous voyaging during five generations, or about a hundred and fifty years, between Te Alutanganuku, who made the first voyages, and Tangi'ia, who made the last. The first canoe spoken of was built on Savai'i, in a forest belonging to Lata, by Atonga and his two brothers, Olo-keu and Olo-i-nano. The two brothers, Olo-keu and Olo-i-nano, first started the building, being impelled to do so by the harsh treatment of Atonga. They went to a forest on Savai'i belonging to Lata, and without his permission cut down a tree for the purpose of making a canoe in which to seek a home in other lands. Having cut down the tree, they returned to the coast, intending to return next day to proceed with the work. Meantime Lata appeared, and resented the tree having been felled without his permission. He repeated a charm causing the branches, bark, chips, and leaves to fly again into their places and join together, so that the tree would stand again where it was."Stand upright," said Lata; "I am Tutamaotamea" ; on which the tree stood upright, and Lata returned to the coast. The brothers returned in early morning, and found that their tree had disappeared; but they recognized it by the axes left at its butt, and cut it down again, dividing it ready for dragging it to the coast. Then they returned home.On their way they encountered another marvel: an owl and a snake were engaged in combat. The owl, claiming to be the lord of the forest in disguise, said to them, "Friends, my brothers, come to my assistance, and put an end to this conflict." But the snake said, "Chiefs, proceed, and do not interfere in the quarrel between a snake and an owl "; on which the brothers prepared to go on, not caring to interfere. They paused, however, when the owl continued, "Behold, I am the lord of this forest in which you two cut down the tree; if you do not put an end to this conflict, never shall you paddle in your canoe," and, remembering how their felled tree had been set upright again, they turned back and killed the snake. Thereupon the owl said, " Go, you two; prepare your canoe, a va'atele, with its outrigger, and seats, and set of paddles." In due time, when the canoe had been built, they prepared to drag it to the sea; but when they reached the ridge of the mountain they both died.....

The rest of the story is at:

24) "Hermes Wrath: Agrios & Oreios"
Locale: Triballoi (Thrake, North of Greece)
“She [the Thrakian princess Polyphonte, mated with a bear and] brought forth two children, Agrios and Oreios, huge and of immense strength. They honoured neither god nor man but scorned them all. If they met a stranger they would haul him home to eat.

Zeus loathed them and sent Hermes to punish them in whatever way he chose [for these two gods presided over the laws of hospitatity which the Gigantes had scorned]. Hermes decided to chop of their hands and feet. But Ares, since the family of Polyphonte descended from him, snatched her sons from this fate. With the help of Hermes he changed them into birds.

Polyphonte became a small owl whose voice is heard at night. She does not eat or drink and keeps her head turned down and the tips of her feet turned up. She is a portent of war and sedition for mankind. Oreios became an eagle owl, a bird that presages little good to anyone when it appears. Argios was changed into a vulture, the bird most detested by gods and men. These gods gave him an utter craving for human flesh and blood. Their female servant was changed into a woodpecker. As she was changing her shape she prayed to the gods not to become a bird evil for mankind. Hermes and Ares heard her prayer because she had by necessity done what her masters had ordered. This a bird of good omen for someone going hunting or to feasts.” –Antoninus Liberalis 21


25) "The Owl" (Brothers Grimm)
Two or three hundred years ago, when people were far from being so crafty and cunning as they are now-a-day, an extraordinary event took place in a little town. By some mischance one of the great owls, called horned owls, had come from the neighboring woods into the barn of one of the townsfolk in the night-time, and when day broke did not dare to venture forth again from her retreat, for fear of the other birds, which raised a terrible outcry whenever she appeared. In the morning when the man-servant went into the barn to fetch some straw, he was so mightily alarmed at the sight of the owl sitting there in a corner, that he ran away and announced to his master that a monster, the like of which he had never set eyes on in his life, and which could devour a man without the slightest difficulty, was sitting in the barn, rolling its eyes about in its head. "I know you already," said the master, "you have courage enough to chase a blackbird about the fields, but when you see a dead hen lying, you have to get a stick before you go near it. I must go and see for myself what kind of a monster it is," added the master, and went quite boldly into the granary and looked round him. When, however, he saw the strange grim creature with his own eyes, he was no less terrified than the servant had been. With two bounds he sprang out, ran to his neighbours, and begged them imploringly to lend him assistance against an unknown and dangerous beast, or else the whole town might be in danger if it were to break loose out of the barn, where it was shut up. A great noise and clamour arose in all the streets, the townsmen came armed with spears, hay-forks, scythes, and axes, as if they were going out against an enemy; finally, the senators appeared with the burgomaster at their head. When they had drawn up in the market- place, they marched to the barn, and surrounded it on all sides. Thereupon one of the most courageous of them stepped forth and entered with his spear lowered, but came running out immediately afterwards with a shriek and as pale as death, and could not utter a single word. Yet two others ventured in, but they fared no better. At last one stepped forth; a great strong man who was famous for his warlike deeds, and said, "You will not drive away the monster by merely looking at him; we must be in earnest here, but I see that you have all tuned into women, and not one of you dares to encounter the animal." He ordered them to give him some armour, had a sword and spear brought, and armed himself. All praised his courage, though many feared for his life. The two barn-doors were opened, and they saw the owl, which in the meantime had perched herself on the middle of a great cross-beam. He had a ladder brought, and when he raised it, and made ready to climb up, they all cried out to him that he was to bear himself bravely, and commended him to St. George, who slew the dragon. When he had just got to the top, and the owl perceived that he had designs on her, and was also bewildered by the crowd and the shouting, and knew not how to escape, she rolled her eyes, ruffled her feathers, flapped her wings, snapped her beak, and cried, "Tuwhit, tuwhoo," in a harsh voice. "Strike home! strike home!" screamed the crowd outside to the valiant hero. "Any one who was standing where I am standing," answered he, "would not cry, strike home!" He certainly did plant his foot one rung higher on the ladder, but then he began to tremble, and half-fainting, went back again. And now there was no one left who dared to put himself in such danger. "The monster," said they, "has poisoned and mortally wounded the very strongest man among us, by snapping at him and just breathing on him! Are we, too, to risk our lives?" They took counsel as to what they ought to do to prevent the whole town being destroyed. For a long time everything seemed to be of no use, but at length the burgomaster found an expedient. "My opinion," said he, "is that we ought, out of the common purse, to pay for this barn, and whatsoever corn, straw, or hay it contains, and thus indemnify the owner, and then burn down the whole building, and the terrible beast with it. Thus no one will have to endanger his life. This is no time for thinking of expense, and niggardliness would be ill applied." All agreed with him. So they set fire to the barn at all four corners, and with it the owl was miserably burnt. Let any one who will not believe it, go thither and inquire for himself.From Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Grimm's Household Tales. 200 tales. (Children's and Fairy Tales) by The Brothers Grimm. Includes Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Little Red-Cap Clever Else & more. Published by MobileReference (mobi) trans. Margaret Hunt (London: George Bell, 1884), 2:271-273.


26) Ancient India Tales - Interesting ancient India tales & stories for kids.
"Right and Might"
WHILE a deer was eating wild fruit, he heard an owl call "Haak, haak" (a spear), and a cricket cry, "Wat" (surrounded), and, frightened, he fled. In his flight he ran through the trees up into the mountains and into streams. In one of the streams the deer stepped upon a small fish and crushed it almost to death. Then the fish complained to the court, and the deer, owl, cricket, and fish had a lawsuit. In the trial came out this evidence:As the deer fled, he ran into some dry grass, and the seed fell into the eye of a wild chicken, and the pain of the seed in the eye of the chicken caused it to fly up against a nest of red ants. Alarmed, the red ants flew out to do battle, and in their haste, bit a mongoose. The mongoose ran into a vine of wild fruit and shook several pieces of it on the head of a hermit who sat thinking under a tree. "Why did you, O fruit, fall on my head?" cried the hermit. The fruit answered: "We did not wish to fall; a mongoose ran against our vine and threw us down." And the hermit asked, " O mongoose, why did you throw the fruit?" The mongoose answered: "I did not wish to throw down the fruit, but the red ants bit me, and I ran against the vine." The hermit asked, " O ants, why did you bite the mongoose?" The red ants replied: "The hen flew against our nest and angered us." The hermit asked: " O hen, why did you fly against the red ants' nest?" And the hen replied: "The seed fell into my eyes and hurt me." And the hermit asked, " O seed, why did you fall into the hen's eyes?" And the seed replied: "The deer shook me down." The hermit said unto the deer, "O deer, why did you shake down the seed?" The deer answered: "I did not wish to do it, but the owl called, frightening me, and I ran." "O owl," asked the hermit, "why did you frighten the deer?" The owl replied: "I called, but as I am accustomed to call---the cricket, too, called."Having heard the evidence, the judge said, "The cricket must replace the crushed parts of the fish and make it well," as he, the cricket, had called and frightened the deer. The cricket was smaller and weaker than the owl or the deer, therefore had to bear the penalty.


"The Owl in the Supermarket" by Katherine Allen.
“Emily, where do owls live?” my little sister Molly asked one morning while we were standing in line at the local supermarket.“In the forest,” I replied, not really paying attention.“Well, then... Why is there one here?”“Huh?” I looked around. “Here?”“Yes, right up there,” Molly said, pointing to the rafters. Sure enough there was a little owl there. “Oh, Emily, isn’t it cute! But how are they going to get it down?”That stumped me. “I don’t know, baby. Maybe we can look it up when we get home.”
The little gray owl looked down on this large, bright and very strange forest. Who were the predators? Who could he hunt? He looked down, staring at this world. “No!” Molly said, putting her stubborn face on. “I want to ask somebody here. The... The... What’s the store boss called?”“The Manager?” I offered.“Yes, The manager. I want to ask the Manager. Please!!” She pleaded “Hon, we need to get home.” I replied, knowing I had lost the battle.
“PLEASE!! I really want to know.” Molly begged. And I, being the mush heart that I am, gave in.“Oh, Okay. Hurry though!”
The little gray owl looked down, staring at the animals in this strange forest. A young mother looked up and saw the little gray owl staring. The first thought in her head was, “Oh, what if that bird comes and gets my baby?” Her uncle had told her once that they do that. She decided to hurry up and leave.Molly looked around and then went up to a young woman who worked there. “Excuse me,” she asked, “Who’s the manager?”The girl smiled, “He is,” she replied, pointing to an older gentleman.“Thank you.” Molly then walked toward the man. “Excuse me, sir, are you the manager?”
The little gray owl stared down. One man looked up and thought, “What’s he looking at. Dumb bird. Probably will poop all over the produce. They should shoot those things.....

The rest of the story is at:

28) "Little Horned Owl" - Ainu legend
Why you want this bird to look you full in the face, and why you should start praying if you see an owl fly across the face of the moon at night.

The Ainu look upon [the little horned owl] as a demon who really desires to harm mankind, and they naturally consider him to be a bird of evil omen. He is also said to be able to tell a good man from a bad one at sight. When caught, the people say that he will not look at a person if that person be of a bad disposition, but will keep his eyes merely closed, just peering through the slits between the lids. This act is called ainu eshpa, i.e., "man-ignoring." If the person before whom the bird is brought be of a good character, he will stare at him open-eyed. This act is called ainu oro wande, i.e., "searching out the man".... I once had the misfortune to catch an owl of this kind in the daytime and so unwittingly went through the ordeal of having one of these birds before me. It looked at me with eyes nearly closed and at an Ainu by my side with them wide open. The word was whispered among the people nishpa eshpa, i.e., "the master is ignored." I then and there went down in the Ainu estimation about 99 percent. But the man who was stared at by the owl was lord of all he surveyed for a time, for had not the owl "searched him out" and shown him to be a good man and the better of the two? Surely so. Even this very day, while penning these words, my manservant proudly informed me that owls always looked at him with eyes wide open. He leaves me to draw the inference....

I find that the people are very superstitious about seeing owls flying during the night. Moreover, it is considered to be a very unfortunate thing for one to pass in front of or immediately over a person ... Ill fortune or danger is certain to be near at hand in such a case, and the only way to avoid the impending evil is to expectorate as much and as fast as possible for a time. By doing so, the demon of evil foreshadowed by the owl may be thrown out of the mouth instead of being swallowed.

But woe betide the man who should be unfortunate enough to see an owl or any kind of night bird cross the moon's face! In such a case the intending evil is very serious and great, and the only way of avoiding it or its demon is to change one's name, so that when he comes for a certain individual named so-and-so who saw the bird cross between himself and the moon, he may not be able to find him.


29) "Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears"
A long, long time ago, Mosquitoes didn't buzz, they talked. And talked and talked and talked. One day, Mosquito was talking to Iguana, telling him about his vacation, about every minute of his vacation. Mosquito would not let Iguana say one word. Iguana was so annoyed that he walked away, leaving Mosquito still talking. Iguana grumbled and waved her tail. She was still grumbling when she passed her friend Snake, and forgot all about saying hello. Snake's feelings were hurt. He felt so sad that he slithered down a rabbit hole. "Help," yelled Rabbit as she scurried out of the hole, terrified of Snake. "What's wrong?" cawed Crow as he saw Rabbit racing. Danger must be near. "Run for your lives!" cawed Crow. Monkey heard Crow's warning and took off through the treetops, leaping branch to branch. When monkey landed on Owl's branch, high up in a leafy tree, Owl's nest tipped off the branch and fell to the ground, breaking Owl's eggs. Owl was heartbroken, so much that she didn't hoot for the sun to come up. The whole jungle was in darkness. Everyone was mad at Mosquito. Finally Owl hooted for the sun to come up and when it did, Mosquito lost his voice. All he could do was buzz in everyone's ears: "Zzzzzz! Is everyone still mad at me?"


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Created 2005; last update 11/23/09.

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