The Halloween Owl

The Warm Little Owl
by John Vance Cheney

Darkness, grow and blacker fold,
Rattle, hail, and blast be bold.
Old trees, blow together
In the cold, roaring weather;
Louder you howl
The jollier he,
In his nest in the breast of the hollow tree,
The warm little owl, the little warm owl.

Pay up, wild pipes i’ the forest bare,
Gallop, goblins, down the air.
Ride, hug to the back
Of the scudding rack;
Fiercer it scowl
The jollier he,
In his nest in the breast of the hollow tree,
The warm little owl, the little warm owl.

Photo Credit: Joyce Nixon

Photo Credit: Joyce Nixon

Halloween and owls.  They just seem to go together.  And yet, the one pictured here appeared on a Sunday morning in June.  He perched on a second-story roof-overhang at my folks’ house.  The neighbors gathered below:  pointing, chattering, taking pictures while the great-horned owl took it all in with his big yellow eyes.

All About Birds calls the great-horned the story-book owl–the one we dream about.  Not uncommon, they show up in deserts and forests, backyards and city parks, but I have never seen one.

 Tonight it will be chilly in the foothills of New Mexico, clouds flitting in front of the waxing moon, a few days short of being full.  Beyond my backyard, a few yards to the west, standing tall among the pinyons and junipers is an old cottonwood, leaves still hanging on, rattling in the breeze.  That’s where I’m sure he’ll be. Perched on a limb, still as a gargoyle.  whoooo . . .whoooo .  . .whoooo. . .

Happy Halloween!

One thought on “The Halloween Owl

  1. I enjoyed your story and was glad you could use the picture. What a surprise it was to seen an owl on the roof of our house last summer. I watch now hoping to see another sometime.

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