Friday, August 3, 2012

The Owl and the Jay

Among the creatures seeking shelter from a rare November storm,
a blue jay dove into an oak tree where an owl was keeping warm.
The owl watched him preen his wing and shake the droplets from his crest
amazed that such a brilliant creature chose her branch on which to rest.

His azure blue and sable black, his stripes of white and jaunty tail
enthralled the owl so, she shook herself, and then began to rail:
“As every owl knows, there’s not a jay in this whole forest stack
that’s worth the egg in which he grows or worth the feathers on his back.

They’re all the common sort of cocky cosmopolitan display,
With all their mocking hawks and crows, there’s not a word of truth they say.”
But as she spoke, she heard the blue jay trill an old familiar tune
(a song her father used to whistle as he scrutinized the moon).

And all at once the owl melted in the feathers of her neck,
and thought, “if he can sing that song, there’s something wrong in what I said.”
But as she spoke, the blue jay turned and saw the owl where she stood
and stopped his song to hop along the branch and make his greeting good.

The owl shyly turned away, her talons trembling and weak:
she’d seen a smile begin to spread its way along the blue jay’s beak.
“As owls go,” the blue jay mused, “this one is not quite like the rest.
I’ve heard they’re pompous, dull, and often fail to leave their Mother’s nest -

But this one’s got a most intriguing cast of eye and honest face;
I must admit it’s quite refreshing to behold her homely grace.”
And in a moment owl and jay began a friendly tête-à-tête
that lasted 'till the storm was over and the ground no longer wet.

And by December, when the forest floor was carpeted with snow,
they’d built a nest inside the oak tree and were fostering a crow.*

*Unable to have chicks of their own, the Owl and the Jay opted for adoption. Crows, always in need of a good upbringing, are a natural choice.

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