Owls in the family. By: Farley Mowat Slide by: Katelyn # 17. Chapter 1.
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By: Farley Mowat
Slide by: Katelyn #17
In the beginning of this chapter Billy and Bruce are looking for owls nests, so they can get some owls eggs because they want a pet owl. They don’t find any, but they do find a crows nest and Bruce climbs the tree to get the eggs. When he climbed and got the eggs, he had to put them in his mouth to carry them down. Bruce slipped and fell, smashing the eggs. They saw a Great horned owl but no nest. Soon after that, Billy found a owl nest. They decided to come back the next day.
Billy’s dad doesn’t want a owl because it will eat all Billy’s other pets. But after he thinks about it, he decides that might not be so bad. On a Sunday afternoon Billy met Bruce and Mr. Miller at Mr. Miller’s house. Mr. Miller climbs up a tree and an owl takes his hat. Mr.Miller built a blind, which is like a tent in a tree, with a camera so that he could see into the owls nest. The owl wrecks the blind.Mr.Miller says that there are three baby owls in the nest.
Billy and Bruce are trying to think of ways to get the owls out of the tree. Bruce says he could get his dad to shoot the old owl, but Billy says that that would not be fair. One night there is a really big storm called a Chinook and Billy hopes that the owls are ok. In the morning they find that the nest is blown out of the tree, and two dead baby owls are on the ground. Then they find a 3rd baby owl that is still alive in a bush.
The owl was as big as a chicken, and he was very cold. Billy tried to pick him up but, the owl spread his wings and hissed at them. But he wasn't strong enough and fell on his face. When Billy touched him he hunched down , because he thought that Billy was going to hurt him. Murray gave him some meat from his sandwich to eat. When they left the owl followed them. The owl bit mutt’s nose and their dog ran off to hide from him. Billy names the owl Wol.
Billy brings Wol into the house and thinks he locks the door to his room, but Wol gets out and scares the maid whose name is Ophelia(Offy for short). She leaves and never comes back. He and his dad make a cage out of chicken wire around a tree stump for Wol. One Tuesday he is biking and he sees two big kids dropping stones into a barrel. He went over to see, and what he saw was them dropping stones on a little owl. Billy brings the little owl home and his dad lets him keep it. Wol becomes friends with the new owl which Billy names Weeps because of the sound he makes.
When Billy goes to school he always wondered what his owls are doing. When school gets out he bikes home as fast as he can. By the time he gets home the owls are pacing up and down impatiently. When he lets them out Wol would jump up on the back of a chair and try to jump from there onto Billy's shoulder. Weeps just sat on the lawn and whimpered until Billy picked him up. Weeps likes to eat anything. But Wol only likes to eat cooked meat.
At first Wol only liked cooked butcher’s meat, hard-boiled eggs, and fig cookies. Later he would eat anything from the table except parsnips. Wol learned to climb trees by watching Billy and his friends. People thought Wol was crazy. One time a man asked Billy why the owl didn’t fly to the top of the tree, and Billy answered him “He can`t fly sir"' "He never learned how.” Wol finally learned to fly, but he didn’t like it.
On the day school ended one of the stores announced that there was going to be a pet parade. Billy and Bruce decide to make a circus wagon and put gophers in it. Their dogs were going to pull the wagon. Bruce had brought a surprise pet, but didn’t tell Billy what it was. When he opened the box a rattlesnake slithered out and scared everyone, so no one got a prize.
Weeps and Mutt become friends because Mutt has to protect Weeps from the other neighborhood dogs and cats. Whenever Weeps is let out of his cage he goes to find Mutt. Wol likes to play tricks on Mutt. Wol will not hurt any animal expect skunks. Skunks and owls hate each other. Wol brought a skunk home for his dinner and tried to join Billy for dinner. Wol got sprayed by the skunk when he attacked it so everyone stayed away from him. Wol brought home a second skunk for them because he thought they were mad at him for not sharing his first skunk with them. Wol had to have a tomato juice bath to get rid of the smell. When he was done he looked like a mop that had been dipped in ketchup. So he never brought home a skunk again.
Tricks that Wol likes to play on Mutt.
3. Bone hiding
Billy, Bruce and Murray have a secret cave. They decided to spend a night in the cave, but Murray was not allowed to go. The owls got to come with them. Billy and Bruce rode their bikes but had to hide them so bigger kids would not find them and go to the cave to take over. They are a little way away from the cave at a stream when the bullies come and demand to take over the cave and that they would tie them to a tree unless they told them where the cave was. Billy was about to tell them, when suddenly Wol let out a owl hunting scream, which is a noise that is used to scare small animals so the owl can catch them. The bullies ran away because they were so scared.
Oneday the new minister came for a visit. He didn’t know about the owls, and the owls didn’t know him. Wol jumped onto his shoulder and asked Who-who? The minister jumped up and Wol naturally gripped tighter to keep his balance. Wol took off and hit the man really hard on the head. One day the postman kicked Wol and Wol hit him really hard on his shins. After that he stood at the gate and whistled until someone came out to get the mail. When school started Billy had a hard time keeping the owls at home ,because they were used to going everywhere with him. He was late for school 4 times because of the owls following him. One day Wol came to school with him so he tied Wol to his bike with twine. Wol got loose and came into the classroom. He landed on the teachers lap.
Billy’s dad made a camper that looked like a ship. Their car was a Ford convertible with a rumble seat. Mutt, the owls, Billy and Billy’s friends rode in the rumble seat. Mutt had to wear goggles because the dust hurt his eyes. They went canoeing and a crow spotted Wol and Weeps. He called a whole lot of other crows to help him mob the owls. Weeps hid but Wol went out to the bow of the canoe where he jumped and grabbed a crow with his talons. When he jumped, Bruce tried to grab him but instead he tipped the canoe over. Mutt swam to shore with Weeps hanging on to his tail while Bruce, Billy and his dad tried to get in the canoe. Billy’s dad pulled the canoe to shore. Wol was so tired he had to land on Billy’s dad’s head.
Billy has to leave Saskatchewan to go to Toronto for his dads work. He has to leave his owls behind. He asks all his friends if they will take them, but their parents all say no. One day he thinks of Bruce, who had moved to a fox farm. He writes and asks if Bruce can keep the owls. Bruce says that yes, his parents will let him have the owls. So Billy and his dad drove the owls up and stayed for a couple of days. Wol and Weep looked at the foxes with Wol daring them to come out of their cages. Billy lets the owls go to sleep in their cages and then leaves.
I give this book 5 stars!