Monday, March 09, 2009

Why After 40+ Years Do I Feel This Compelled?

It has been a really really long time since I was a school girl and writing book reports. They were always one of my favorite assignments! Creating a diorama, dressing up as a storybook character, penning the perspective in first person, writing in diary format...I loved it all!
Wes brought home a book recently from a colleague at North Park in the Science Department. The colleague thought Wes would like the book due to the title character sharing the same name: Wesley. And this Wesley is a barn owl.

The writer/owl caregiver receives a four day old owlet who has nerve damage to a wing so he can never be released into the wild. She describes how he looks: "His eyes weren't open yet, and except for a tuft of white down feathers on his head and three rows of fluff along his back, he was pink and naked. His long, lanky legs stuck out awkwardly, and his oversized talons erratically scratched anyone who held him. His scrawny body had two little nubs that would eventually become wings, and his pterodactyl-like head wobbled from side to side."

And how did Stacey come to choose the name Wesley for her little owlet I wondered? She said that she thought the name seemed perfect. "Cute enough for a baby owl yet wise and sophisticated for when he grew into a distinguished adult bird of prey." (I imagine Wes' parents chose the name for the same reasons of cute in childhood and refined in adulthood...and Wes has always liked his name, too.)
Stacey and Wesley lived together for close to twenty years. Theirs is an amazing story of living, learning, growing and accepting. Reading this book introduced me to the world of a barn owl and the Way of the Owl far more than I thought it would. I was truly wishing the book wouldn't end - it was that mesmerizing and entertaining.
So, back to how I would do the book report. There's an adorable plush owl that you can purchase and I would dress up as Stacey and hold Wesley (plush - not husband!) in my arms and tell stories about our crazy times together and sometimes Wesley would respond with a nod of the head and sometimes he would dash around my head wildly shrieking and I would understand what I was supposed to know and react accordingly. Or maybe make a little diorama with a finger puppet owl inside acting out the stories. Wait! Maybe I could tell the story from Wesley's perspective...
Please think about reading this book!

4 comments:

Jed and Anne said...

This is so cute, mom...What a fun book to read. I love how you are thinking of the way to turn it into a book report, too. You are so clever!

The Lindahl News said...

Thanks, Anne! Do you remember how you felt about doing book reports?
I'll always especially remember your leaf project book!

Timi + Andrew said...

I promised myself I will read more books these days and I finished 2 of them in like 2 weeks. One was a very funny one from P.G. Wodehouse (he wrote many funny books) and the other one was from a Hungarian writer, Sandor Marai and it is called Embers. This one is very very good! Maybe you could give it a chance :)

Linnea said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I think I heard this lady on NPR. I am currently reading "Following the Equator" by Mark Twain. My library actually had to dig it out of the archives. :) Of course, my project of choice would be some research-based sailing the world!! I have a new Jodi Picoult book awaiting Spring Break, too. Yay!