terry whidborne







Owl sketch by Terry Whidborne



Howell was feeling a little hard done by. Sunday afternoons had always been sacred snoozing time in The Howellery until this particular Sunday when the grandowlets had come to visit. His wife and daughter had gone off together to The Mousery for afternoon tea leaving him on owl sitting duties.

“What’ll we do Grandhowell??” asked Verne, bouncing excitedly up and down on the branch.

“Yes Grandhowell” exclaimed Mopette, hanging upside down from the same branch, “Can we go to the lake? Can we fly in the sky? Can we watch TV? Can we? Can we? Can we?”

Howell’s tufted ears rose in horror. A cold breeze of fear riffled through his feathers. He tried to stifle the rising panic before the grandowlets noticed. He couldn’t let them have the edge; he’d never be able to control them, just look how they were bouncing and swinging. He scowled down at them.

“How about a nice cup of tea and a buttered scone??”

“Oh no Grandhowell! No!!” Mopette swung upright on the branch and began bouncing next to her brother.  “No Grandhowell we want to fly!”

They both screeched, wings flapping, in unison with the bounces.  “We…..love…..fly…..ing!!!”

They bounced even higher. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down. Howell felt himself becoming dizzy as he watched them. Up and down. Up and down. Up …..

………a huge crackkkkk…

…………………and a great cruuuunch…….

The branch broke and all three owls went tumbling down through leaves and branches. Down. Down. Down…..until Howell remembered he was an owl and had wings and could fly. He grasped one owlet in each talon and they parachuted safely to the ground together.


“That was amazing!” said Verne, adjusting his feathers.

“Oh Grandhowell that was awesome”  said Mopette at the same time as her brother, “Can we do it again?? Can we?? Please!!!”

Two sets of big owl eyes stared up at Howell.

“Well, I don’t know!”

“You’re the best Grandhowell in the whole wide world!!”

“Much better than Dad!!”

“Oh much better!!”

Howell preened a little under this praise from his little grandowlets. He’d always thought his owlson-in-law was a bit of a wimp.

“Well…okay! Just don’t tell your mother!!”




Copyright June 2014

















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