There is an old saying, "wise as an
owl". People are always saying that, but the truth is, owls
were not always wise.
Once upon a time, a long time ago, the
Everything-Maker was very busy, making all the animals and all the
plants and all the rocks and caverns and everything else that covered
Owl had not yet been made. He had
been given a voice. And two eyes. And a head and a body and strong
wings. Owl was waiting his turn to be formed. "I want a long neck
like Swan," Owl told the Everything-Maker. "I want red
feathers like Cardinal and a beak like Hawk."
"Yes, yes," mumbled the
Everything-Maker. "Whatever you want. But you must wait your
turn." The Everything-Maker looked sharply at Owl. "Your
eyes are open again. You know that no one is allowed to watch me work.
Turn around and close your eyes. I have no time for you now. I am busy
The Everything-Maker turned his attention back to
Rabbit who was shaking with nervousness. "And what do you want,
little rabbit?" the Everything-Maker asked encouragingly.
"Long legs and ears," Rabbit spoke
softly. "And fangs. Could I possibly have a fang or two? And
claws. I would dearly love to have claws!"
The Everything-Maker smiled. "I think we
could manage some claws and fangs." He smoothed Rabbit's long
legs and ears.
"Silly Rabbit!" Owl hooted loudly.
"Why don't you ask for something useful, like wisdom?"
"This is your last warning, Owl. Be quiet
and wait your turn."
Owl twisted around and glared at the
Everything-Maker. "You have to do it," he hooted. "You
have to give us what we ask. I demand wisdom!"
"I warned you, Owl!" shouted the
Everything-Maker. He shoved Owl's head down into his body, which made
Owl's neck disappear. He gave Owl a shake, which made Owl's eyes widen
in fright. He pulled Owl's ears until they stuck out from his head.
The Everything-Maker snapped his fingers. "I
have made your ears big, the better to listen. I have made your eyes
big, the better to see. I have made your neck short, the better
to hold up your head. I have packed your head with wisdom, as
you have asked. Now, use your wisdom and fly away before you lose what
I have given."
Owl was no longer a fool. He flew quickly away,
pouting and hooting.
The Everything-Maker turned back to Rabbit,
smiling gently. "Claws," he reminded himself. But Rabbit was
gone. Rabbit had hopped hurriedly away, too afraid of the
Everything-Maker to stay for his fangs and claws.
As for Owl, Owl knew if he angered the
Everything-Maker again, he would lose all that he had gained. Even
today, Owl only comes out at night, when the Everything-Maker is fast
asleep. As for Rabbit, his claws and fangs are waiting. Perhaps