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Mr. Owl has a close call

A children's story by local author Jimmie Kobayashi

Mr. Owl wasn’t himself today. Wispy and Puddy had come down to see him and, to get the latest news. They were often playing or out helping someone and missed what was going on down on the ground below.

“I didn’t think Mr. Owl looked very good today. He didn’t even scold me when I reffled his feathers,” Wispy said as he blew Puddy over to the ball field.

“I noticed, and I was hoping that you wouldn’t shake the branch,” Puddy told him.

“I wonder who’s playing ball today. Maybe I can have some fun,” Wispy wondered aloud.

Hearing Wispy say that Puddy gave a big sigh. “I guess that you plan on making a bit of dust blow up and I’m right aren’t I?” Puddy asked.

“Well just a little bit. You know, at the other team. Just a bit.”

Wispy parked Puddy back of the bleachers and wandered off to the ball field with just a whisper of wind. The home team was at bat and he knew that the batter was very good but the pitcher was very good too and would be throwing a very hard fastball, which he did, and it was headed right for the batter’s head. The batter yelled at him but the second pitch came even closer to the batter’s head and nearly got him because he didn’t move fast enough.

“Enough,” Wispy said to himself, and swirling down, he picked up some sand and sent it right into the pitcher’s eyes. No one could understand the quick little breeze that did the damage and left. Wispy quickly picked up Puddy and rushed back to Mr. Owl.

Wispy thought that Puddy was angry with him, and he was right.

“Wispy I’ve had it with you doing that at the ball games. I’m not going with you anymore. Let the teams play fair. Now lets see how Mr. Owl is.”

Mr. Owl looked even worse than he had before and his hoot was very feeble.”

You ask him what the trouble is,” Wispy said to Puddy.

“What’s the matter with you Mr. Owl?” Puddy asked. “Something you ate?”

“He eats mostly mice,” Wispy said.

Mr. Owl could hardly talk but managed to say. “I don’t think so.”

“Do you think we could get Mr. Anderson to come here Wispy,” Puddy asked.

“Well I sure don’t know how.”

Just then Sylvester Squirrel came along. “Sure glad to see you two. We have to get help for Mr. Owl, but how I don’t know.”

“Sylvester why don’t you go and find Mr. Robin. He’s pretty wise. He may have an idea,” Puddy suggested.

Off went Sylvester, scrambling from tree to tree it didn’t take him long to find the robins all enjoying a tasty meal of worms. When Sylvester explained to them about Mr. Owl, Mr. Robin just kept eating his meal.

“I’ll be over as soon as I finish,” he said.

“You had better go right now,” Mrs. Robin told him. “Sylvester wouldn’t come for you unless it was serious.”

So Mr. Robin flew over to see for himself what the poor old fellow was up to. “Well Mr. Owl I have never seen you looking so poorly. What ever is wrong.” He said when he arrived at the branch Mr. Owl was sitting on.

“He is too weak to speak but there seems to be something wrong with his left wing and there is something there that I think people call blood,” said Puddy.

“So there is. We need Mr. Anderson here but however could we get him to come. I don’t know how at all,” said Mr. Robin.

“I have an idea,” piped up Sylvester.

“Well do tell the rest of us,” said Mr. Robin.

“Well if we all go over to his orchard and raise a racket he is sure to know something is wrong and we can get him to follow us over here.”

“Sylvester I think that is a brilliant idea,” Wispy remarked. “Mr. Robin, get your wife and Sylvester, you go find your brothers and sisters. Mr. Anderson is bound to come over here.”

Mr. Anderson was busy putting in underground sprinklers for his cherry trees. As he worked he whistled a tune his family had sang in church last Sunday but he stopped suddenly when everyone circled all around him. Some in the air, others on the ground hopping or running, all making so much noise that Mr. Anderson had to put his hands over his ears.

“Whatever are you all doing, have the bunch of you gone crazy? Squirrel, get off my leg and you Robin give my hat back. Cloud will you stop bouncing on me! Now where are you all going. Not to bother the children again. Lindsay can come up with some weird stories without your help!” Mr. Anderson said, referring to his daughter’s tale about her travels with a cloud and a breeze. Of course no one had believed her. Such nonsense.

“You all act as if you want me to go someplace with you over by the lawn. Wind will you quit blowing me over there. Well something just isn’t right so lets go and see what it is.”

And so, Mr. Anderson followed the animals and birds with Wispy and Puddy bringing up the rear. They soon came to the big maple tree where Mr. Owl sat trying with all his might to hang on with his long talons curled around the branch. Upon seeing Mr. Owl, Mr. Anderson was shocked at the owl’s appearance.

“Oh my goodness old boy whatever has happened to you. Let me have a look. Oh I see it. A BB gun pellet in your left wing. I see infection has set in. Well, I’ll get a net over you and then it’s off to the animal hospital with you.”

When they saw Mr. Anderson’s pickup truck leave, most of the animals and birds went home, all but the Robin and Squirrel families along with Puddy and Wispy.

“Well, there’s nothing for us to do here so I guess we might as well go home to the children,” Mrs. Robin said.

“Just wait. I’ll fly over and see if I can take a look in the hospital window and see what’s going on,” her husband told her. “All of you wait here.”

And with that Mr. Robin flew off the same way as Mr. Anderson had gone. It wasn’t long before he was back. Everyone asked at once what he had seen, if anything.

“All is looking good. The BB was taken out of the wing and then he had something sharp stuck in and taken out again. Mr. Owl did not like that. His wing was wrapped up in something that looked like it came from Mrs. Anderson’s clothes line, and then he was put in a bed. Mr. Owl looked better but didn’t like that one bit. He saw me looking through the window and nodded his head. I’m sure all is well. Here comes the pickup truck now.”

Sure enough, Mr. Anderson was back. “Well you are a fine bunch. I’m proud you all live on my land. You saved Mr. Owl’s life. He has infection, and would probably have died from it, but the medicine will clear that up. We people are very careless about our wildlife and boys with BB guns can do a lot of damage.”


Jimmie Kobayashi writes stories for children from her home in Lake Country. She can be reached by email at