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Children's Stories

The Owl, the Eagle and the Hare

by William Szczepanek

Owl, Eagle and Hare   An eagle perched on a Palo Verde branch, scanning the desert for signs of movement, when suddenly a great horned owl landed on a branch across from him.
  “Who are you?” the eagle asked.
  “Whoo, Whoo am I? Whoo,” responded the owl.
  “Yes, who are you?” repeated the eagle.
  “Yes, who are you?  Are you deaf?” asked the eagle with irritation in his voice.
  “Whoo. Who do you think I am?” retorted the owl.
  “I think you’re an idiot,” remarked the eagle.
  “Firstly, I am a wise old owl, so keep your insults to yourself.  Secondly, my name is Whoo, and I think you are the one whooo is deaf.  I’ve told you five times, my name is Whoo.”

   “Okay, now I understand,” the eagle admitted.
  “You eagles sure are slow. What’s your name, if I may ask?”  inquired Whoo.
  “My name is Talon and this is my territory,” the eagle stated flatly.  “What are you doing here?”
  “Whew, at least it’s not another who question,” sighed Whoo.  “I’m here looking for rabbits.  Have you seen any hare, here?”
  “Hare, here?” repeated Talon.
  “Yes, hare here, can’t you hear?” said Whoo, as he blinked one of his owl eyes.
  “Huh?” questioned Talon with a stupid look.
  “Hare, like rabbit, or bunnies.  Here, like the place. Can you hear me now?” repeated Whoo, as his head rotated so both of his huge owl eyes stared directly at Talon.
  “Oh bunny rabbit,” answered Talon. “Sure there are plenty of rabbits here, but who are you to be hunting hare in my territory?”

   “I’ve been hunting hare in this territory for many years, young eagle.  Longer than you can remember.”
  “Then why haven’t I seen you before?  I have eagle eyes and I can see everything.”
  “Well, your sight isn’t so good at night.  That’s when I do most of my hunting.  But I’ve had insomnia, so I haven’t been able to sleep during the day.  The desert has gotten very noisy lately with those roadrunners, shrieking ‘beep beep’ all day long. There goes one now,” Who mentioned as his head swiveled to watch the speeding roadrunner scurry across the desert.”
  “Tell me about it,” agonized Talon.  “If it’s not roadrunners during the day it’s coyote at night.  They howl incessantly .  What’s this desert coming to?  The next thing you know, people will be moving here.  If that happens, then I’m outta here.  Besides, the people I’ve met smell bad.”
  “Wheeuw,”  agreed Whoo, pinching his beak with his wing.

   “Hey, here comes a hare,” Talon reported.  “He’s walking right toward us.”
  “Hey. Hey you two birds up there,” screamed the hare.  ‘What are you both doing here during the day. We have enough trouble with the eagles and hawks during the day, the coyotes at dawn and dusk and the owls at night.  What are you trying to do double up on us during the day?”

   The two birds looked confusedly at the hare as the hare ranted and raved, while standing on his hind legs,waving his little front bunny feet in the air. 
  “Why don’t you just eat me now and get it over with,” challenged the hare.
  “I’m not hungry now,” insisted Talon.
  “Nor I,” chimed Whoo.
  “When you are hungry, can’t you eat something else, like nuts and berries and leaves, rather than innocent bunny rabbits?”
  “But then you wouldn’t have anything to eat,” concluded the wise old owl.
  “That’s true.  I never thought of it that way.  So, you’re doing us rabbits a favor by eating us rather than the nuts and berries and leaves that we like.”
  “Very true,” agreed Talon, looking down from his branch at the fearless rabbit beneath him. “What’s your name?”
  “Yes, whooo are you?” asked Whoo.
  “My name is Harry Hare and I live down on 2 Bunny Lane, Hole number 25, with my wife Harriett.”
  “Any children?” inquired Whoo.
  “42 bunnies, let’s see there’s Harold, Harlon, Cotton, Peter…”
  “Hold it!  I’m sorry I asked,” said Whoo.
  “That’s insulting.  First you ask about my kids, but you don’t really care.  I think you’re both very rude.”
  “Oh, we care, we really do care.  The more hares to go around the better,” observed Talon.
  “I understand,” said Harry.

   “We hare hear have so many enemies.  Who are some of your enemies?”
  “People are really our only enemies; otherwise, we’re left pretty much alone,” answered Whoo.
  “What a life,” complained Harry.  “Everybody in the world eats rabbits, even people.”
  “That’s because there are so many of you,” asserted Talon. “You’re a menace. You deserve to be eaten.  If we didn’t eat you, you and your kind would overpopulate the planet.  Besides, you taste good.”
  “Talking about food makes me hungry, why don’t we just swoop down and split this guy for dinner,” hinted Whoo.
  “Whoa, Whoo.  Not so fast.  Don’t you think we should give Harry a head start? You know that half the fun is in the chase.”
  “I think I’ll be going home now,” stated Harry with a quiver in his voice.  He turned slowly and then darted toward Bunny Lane.

   Both Talon and Who took to the air and circled over Harry, who darted back and forth between the cacti narrowly avoiding the needles.  The pair of raptors dived toward Harry as he approached his rabbit hole, with one last kick he dove into the hole as both Talon and Whoo collided and were sent sprawling across the dusty desert floor.

   “I think I better return to the night shift,” wailed Whoo.  “You eagles are too reckless.”  The two birds parted company and agreed to hunt on their own time.  As they lifted up into the air loud bunny laughs could be heard from the Hole 25 on 2 Bunny Lane.




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