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The Night of the Owl

By Isabel Barratt

One night I couldn't get to sleep because the mice kept on taking the grain. (My family live on Buttercup Farm.) We were all worried because we were losing money and were afraid of going bankrupt. I stared out of the window and looked at the blackening sky. SUDDENLY something dropped out of the sky, and crashed to the ground!! WHOOSH! First, I thought it was a shooting star. (A bit silly of me!) I crept outside to investigate.

I switched my torch on and peered through the darkness. Suddenly I saw some fluttering and heard a little, tiny hoot! It was a BARN OWLET! (I absolutely love owls!)

I didn't want to wake my worried and tired family. I remembered my treehouse that my father had built for me. I got a big cardboard box and my fluffy, warm, comfy blanket. I opened the box and put the blanket in to it. I ran inside to get some dog food and a bowl of water.

I lifted the little owl carefully into the box. (He was very heavy!) I silently thanked my sleeping father for building a very strong, helpful pulley-system for my treehouse. I had often used it for my toys, books and snacks. Now I took the owl up. I went back into the kitchen and climbed wearily upstairs into my warm cosy bedroom.

The next morning was a very sunny day. It was lovely outside. I went out and checked on the owl. He was very PINK!!! (Because of the rising sun.) I pushed him into the shade. I thought to call him Tyto Alba (the scientific name for a Barn Owl!)

I cared for Tyto Alba morning and night for two whole weeks. I gave him a handful of dog food and made sure he had clean, fresh water. When I wasn't doing farm chores I snuggled up to him.

One night...I slowly crept out of bed and tiptoed down the creaky stairs to the kitchen and took out a handful of dog food. I was quite worried because Tyto Alba had only been eating a little bit for the past few days. I quietly opened the back door, phew it didn't creak! I ran outside and switched the torch on quickly.

I climbed steadily up the wooden ladder to my treehouse. I looked in the box - NO OWL! I was extremely worried. I dropped the dog food and ran towards the house. I heard a squeak coming from the barn, like a mouse in pain. I thought quickly and ran over to the barn, my heart racing. There, in the light of my torch, I saw Tyto Alba with a mouse in his mouth! That's why he hadn't been eating his food!

I moved his box to the barn so it was easier for him to catch the mice, and that is where he still lives. My family started to notice that the grain wasn't going anymore. PHEW! No more worrying!

By Isabel Barratt Your stories