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Sunday, 21 May 2017

owls, towels and more rooks.

The other day I found a young owl sitting in a puddle.

 It was tipping down with rain and he was completely waterlogged. A huge buzzard was watching, ready to scoop him up but he was so wet he couldn't move. I picked him up and took him home. Unlike the rooks his claws viciously wrapped around my hand (I still bear the marks) but he was calm and stared at me with his huge eyes which I knew didn't see me at such close quarters. I don't have a hairdryer so I used a towel and when he was dry I took him back to where we'd found him and put him up in a tree. I went back a few hours later and he had gone. I am hoping the buzzard didn't find him - he was well camouflaged.

Well it is the season for Rook Rescue. This is Stella - one of those young rooks that land on the ground and can't fly and can't feed themselves. The farmer told me that a red kite was picking them up for his supper or to feed its own young. I rescued her from Pixie who wanted to catch her too.
She is making great progress and can now feed herself. She'll be able to join the other rooks any day now I'd think. Meanwhile she's been an engaging writing companion though a little distracting.

 I couldn't resist this picture - not taken by me. Beezle tells me I should credit the photographer but as I don't know who took the picture I've explained it's a little hard to do that. Apologies if whoever took it reads this blog.

Meanwhile - Pixie's very interesting fact is that owls have three eyelids.

Pixie is learning to read.  Her favourite book is Clifford - the small red puppy.

Meanwhile Pocket is waiting for a call from his agent. I have used this photograph in my talk about writing tips. It illustrates the tip that says "Keep off social media and don't make personal phone calls." I might put the other tips up on a later blog post when there is a dearth of news and no rooks to rescue. Interestingly - my Native American Spirit animal is a Raven!

  Beezle says he can already read and he's exhausted having to read all about himself in The Dog, Ray.
The book has won another prize -  the Lancashire Fantastic Book Award and I have just returned from Preston where I went to meet some of the children who voted for it. I went to a wonderful school called St. Oswold's Primary where the children were so sweet and gave Beezle a bone shaped biscuit tin, a ball on a rope and an encouraging card. In hindsight I should have taken him with me on the train.
But as he and Montaigne would say "My Life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened."

Little Owl Who Lives in the Orchard.

His beak could open a bottle,
and his eyes - when he lifts their soft lids -
go on reading something
just beyond your shoulder -
Blake, maybe,
or the Book of Revelation.

Never mind that he eats only the black-smocked crickets,
and dragonflies if they happen
to be out late over the ponds, and of course
the occasional festal mouse.
Never mind that he is only a memo
from the offices of fear-

it's not size but surge that tells us
when we're in touch with something real,
and when I hear him in the orchard
down the little aluminum
ladder of his scream -
when I see his wings open, like two black ferns,

a flurry of palpitations
as old as sleet
rackets across the marshlands
of my heart,
like a wild spring day.

Mary Oliver

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