In Forestville, the sun is up and it is summertime. Oliver Owl sneaks out of his owl home and goes hunting. He was hopes that he wouldn’t get the whole “hunting at day” speech. Every morning, he tries to sing like a cardinal.
Oliver flies back into his home after hunting in the grounds of Forestville. Oliver’s parents erupt, screeching, “Oliver! Get over here! NOW! What is THAT noise? Do you call that singing?” Oliver trudges to his parents’ room, looking very sad. “Why do you HAVE to hunt at day? STOP IT! It’s SOOOO NOISY! You see, Oliver’s parents want to be popular, so they want Oliver to be “normal”. Truthfully, everyday all the other forest animals laugh and jeer at Oliver. “But most other animals hunt at day,” said Oliver. “I wanna be like diurnal animals!” His eyes are filled with sadness. He walks to his bedroom, sulking. Oliver decides to just ignore his parents. He decides that his parents are just talking gibberish. His mind isn’t going to be changed by his parents. Nothing is going to change his mind, nothing at all. His parents keep giving him the dreaded speech of hunting at day. the next few weeks. ≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥
“UGH! I can’t take this anymore!” Oliver yelled at the top of his lungs. “I hate Mom and Dad! They’re such idiots!” He plans to fly away from home, never to come back. He wants to go to Barnville, where his trustworthy friend, Raksy the raccoon lives to be free to do what he wants. He packed his stuff in a bag, and flew off while his parents were sleeping. Oliver flies and flies, in despair. On his face is a scrunched up, BIG frown. He can’t think about anything but childhood memories. A picture of his family reading his favorite book, The Lonely Little Owl when he was a younger owlet zips into his mind. The time when they went to the Animal Kingdom amusement park pops in too. Tears stream down his cheeks. Oliver looks as lonely as the last egg in a nest.
Oliver never stops doing anything until he finishes it. Once, he accepted a dare, and he had to gobble 15 mice at once, and he didn’t stop. In his journey, he stopped for a while to take a break and have a quick snack, but otherwise, it was just FLY, FLY, FLY, and more FLY. Nobody’s ever been with him as a friend, at least, not really. Raksy was kind and welcoming, but he lived far away. Where Oliver is now, there is not another animal in sight. Oliver looks so feeble, he is wobbling about in his flight. He can fall down any time now. He hasn’t had a break in a long time. Finally, Oliver gives up flying the whole way. He spots a sturdy branch and rests on it. He decides to continue his way on talon, instead of flying the whole way. Now, it is just WALK, WALK, WALK, and more WALK. ≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥ Oliver’s parents are frantic. “UGHHHHH. Where is that DANG kid!?” screams Oliver’s mom. “How should I know? HUH?” replied Oliver’s dad angrily. DINGGGGGGGG! A lightbulb goes on over both of their heads. “Oh! I know where that kid is! Remember how we told him not to hunt at day? Maybe he
flew off by himself to let out his anger?” asks Mom. “Maybe,” replies Dad. “ Wait, what? He flew off by himself? Oh, dear. Let’s go fetch him quickly.” Oliver’s parents go around the neighborhood, asking if neighbors saw where he went. ≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥ It is day in another forest. Up in a treehouse, an owl stares at Oliver. Her name is Owlful. She is both diurnal and nocturnal, she sometimes hunts at night, but also sometimes hunts at day. She is rejected because of that. Her groggy eyes pop open at the sight of the tiredlooking kid. “That kid looks so tired. He looks like he needs a friend, why don’t I help him?” muttered Owlful to herself. She pokes her round, plump face out of the window, saying, “Hello, bud. You look hungry and tired. Do you want to come stay for a while? I make great food.” Oliver sees her, and jumps at the thought of great food. He flies up to her earthentone treehouse. Owlful shows him a room to stay in, and he lies down on the bed. He gets up for dinner. At dinner, Oliver explains the whole journey. After that, Oliver goes back to the guest room and falls asleep immediately. He is just tired. Oliver, for once, is sleeping at day, like “normal” owls. Owlful, on the other hand is out hunting, to get double the food. Owlful flies around and around, bumping into obstacles. She makes noises over and over again, causing a humongous ruckus. Oliver’s eyes open up every time Owlful hits an obstacle. Though he is as tired as an owl can be, he just can’t sleep. Just too noisy. ≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥ Oliver’s parents didn’t successfully find Oliver by asking around, and they are not too happy about that. They did all they could to try to find Oliver, but all their attempts were in vain. At last, they had to give up looking for Oliver and they had to hope for the best. ≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥ Owlful returns, with a vole in her mouth. She wakes Oliver up fully, though Oliver was already half awake. “Oh, no! I barely got any sleep yesterday!” thinks Oliver. “Now I know what Mom and Dad were talking about. They actually can’t sleep when I’m hunting.” Now he understands that his parents weren’t talking gibberish when they said that Oliver was noisy. He changes his mind about doing what diurnal animals do.
Owlful motions Oliver over to the living room. Oliver flies over to the living room with a droopy face. Owlful asks, “So, why did you run away from home?” “Well, my parents are such dumb, idiotic pigs. I want to sing like cardinals in the morning, jump like sparrows in the bright sunshine, and eat like squirrels in the autumn breeze, but Mom and Dad yell at me for that,” replies Oliver. “Do you hibernate like squirrels?” “No,” “Do cardinals have facial disks that receive even the softest sounds?” “Nah,” “Do you have sparrow genes?” “I don’t know,” he replies, with a puzzled look on his face. “Well you don’t, look at yourself! You see how your feathers are softer than a cardinal’s feathers? Just now, when you were eating, you made a pellet, and only owls make pellets. Do squirrels have wings like you?” “No,” Owlful leans down to look at Oliver’s feet. “What are you looking at?” “Just making sure you have talons, not paws.” “Okay? So what does that prove?” “That you’re an owl!” “Of course! Did you think I was a hybrid?” “Duh! Of course not. But if you really like the bright sunshine, you can try what I do,” “What?” asks Oliver curiously. “When I just want to have fun, I hunt at days, but normally, I hunt at night. When your parents were yelling at you, they probably just wanted you to be what you were born as: an owl,” Oliver’s breath is taken away. “Really? I should try that too! Mom and Dad will totally be fine with it. As long as I do it once every million years! Just kidding. The whole journey I took is wasted,” Oliver goes back to the guest room and packs up his belongings. He stuffs all his toys into the bag that Oliver bought with his family. Feelings of nostalgia swarm Oliver. He returns to the living room and eats one last meal with Owlful and takes his leave. Owlful packs Oliver enough freshly baked cookies to last the whole journey home. Oliver is welcome to visit anytime he wants. He hoots one final farewell.
He flies back home with a smile stretched on his face. He sees his family and bear hugs them. The next thing you know, Oliver’s parents are planning a trip to visit Raksy at Sunday morning, and stop by Owlful’s place at Saturday afternoon, on the way there.
Epilogue The next time Oliver and Owlful meet, it is nighttime at Owlful’s house. They all keep in touch. Who knows? Maybe after that, Owlful can go to Oliver’s house! The other forest animals think that Oliver is cool because sometimes he is diurnal, so other forest animals started to copy Oliver. He quickly began to make friends.