I’m sitting here on the couch listening to the wind hurtle through the trees in the back. Riding on its wings is our next snowfall, forecasted for tonight and early tomorrow. then we are faced with the prospect of subzero temperatures again by Monday. And the time has come to do something about it… to take a stand…to explain to winter that “it’s been very nice and all, but the time has come to leave. And don’t forget your coat on the way out.” Yes, this is what I would like to say to winter. And this reminds me of another little soul who also thought he could have a conversation with winter – Mr. Owl. So my friends, we will have yet another cup of cocoa and I will relay the tale of “Mr. Owl and the Guest” courtesy of Arnold Lobel.
Owl was at home. “How good it feels to be sitting by this fire,” said Owl. “It is so cold and snowy outside.” Owl was eating buttered toast and hot pea soup for supper. Owl heard a loud sound at the front door. “Who is out there, banging and pounding at my door on a night like this?” he said. Owl opened the door. No one was there. Only the snow and the wind.
Owl sat near the fire again. There was another loud noise at the door. “Who can it be,” said Owl, “knocking and thumping at my door on a night like this?” Owl opened the door. No one was there. Only the snow and the cold. “The poor old winter is knocking at my door,” said Owl. “Perhaps it wants to sit by the fire. Well, I will be kind and let the winter come in.” Owl opened his door very wide. “Come in, Winter,” said Owl. “Come in and warm yourself for a while.”
Winter came into the house. It came in very fast. A cold wind pushed Owl against the wall. Winter ran around the room . It blew out the fire in the fireplace. The snow whirled up the stairs and whooshed down the hallway. “Winter!” cried Owl. “You are my guest. This is no way to behave!” But Winter did not listen.
It made the window shades flap and shiver. It turned the pea soup into hard, green ice. Winter went into all the rooms of Owl’s house. Soon everything was covered with snow. “You must go Winter!” shouted Owl. “Go away right now!” The wind blew around and around. Then Winter rushed out and slammed the front door. “Goodbye,” called Owl, “and do not come back!”
Owl made a new fire in the fireplace. The room became warm again. The snow melted away. The hard, green ice turned back into soft pea soup. Owl sat down in his chair and quietly finished his supper.
If you like the adventures of Mr. Owl, you may care to read all his stories, found in the volume “Owl at Home”. It’s one of my favorites!
Blessings to you,