Scared of owls

When I grew up we had a weekend house an hour’s drive from town. It was located at the end of a gravel road behind a spruce tree hedge. We always went there on Friday evening and I remember how my mother used to fill bottles with warm water so we could sleep in the cold beds. The house was far from any lights and on moonless nights I remember running from the outhouse to the house being haunted by the fear of monsters and the hoots from the tawny owl. The days were spent with forestry and chopping wood, but in the evening we would sit in front of the fireplace while reading books.

silver moonlight
singe of paws in fallen leaves —
green eyes shimmer

Untitled (owl) by Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes

Today it’s Haibun Monday at dVerse and Victoria hosts and wants us to write about Fukuroo – the Owl. Owl is a winter kigo but you can write about any season. Please keep the prose to under 200 words and write you

November 13,2017

32 responses to “Scared of owls

  1. We have tawny owls here too. I an see how they could scare a child, but I love them! Your haibun is very evocative in its sparse but telling details, choosing just the right ones to relate..

  2. Ha. I grew up surrounded by the woods. There was a time I was scared of what was in the woods at night. Maybe that had more to do with the graveyard. The woods are alive with noise, everything moving that you can not see. Though it gets intensely silent when they realize you are there.

    We used to play games though, hiding in the woods at night. It amped up the fear factor. I grew to love that silence .

    Had a tree fall in the back yard, so spent he weekend chopping. I use the axe over the chainsaw. Its more therapeutic.

    like the use of singe in the haiku – very nice.

  3. Wonderful recollection here, Bjorn. I love owls…most especially their eyes and the way they can turn their heads. Your haku is wonderful as is the illustration. Enjoyed this read very much!

  4. Great write. My folks used to tell me if I walked around at night (as I was wont to do) the owls would take me away. I didn’t believe them then. the only thing I have ever been afraid of in the night are humans. The tension is this is wonderful Bjorn.

  5. That’s one thing I have never been – scared of owls. I love the sound they make and their graceful movement. I was fascinated by an owl that lived in a very tall tree on my way to school. It would sit very still and occasionally you could see its head move.

  6. What an experience that is Bjorn ~ Still days spent in forestry and reading books at night, are a boy’s adventure ~ Love your silver moonlight haiku ~

  7. What a gorgeous haiku. I very much enjoyed the story as well.

    I especially like this sentence: “The house was far from any lights and on moonless nights I remember running from the outhouse” … and the idea of sleeping with water bottles. My and my girls love to sleep with heating pads wrapped around us. 🙂

  8. Your haiku has such a eerie atmosphere to it. I enjoyed the narrative of your childhood weekends, a weekend home away from the hustle and bustle sounds nice, except for the scary night excursions

  9. love the “silver moonlight”, the “green eyes shimmer” — the two lines play off each other because I am imagining the eyes shimmering in the moonlight. lovely childhood memories. I probably would have been scared too–when I went camping as a kid, I wouldn’t leave the tent at night — too scared. But I always hoped to see the animals during the day but we were too noisy so no such luck. Easy to see you were an imaginative kid fed with book. love the haibun

  10. I can imagine the sound of the owls in the darkness would be very scary. The atmosphere inside the house–books, family, and mom-filled hot water bottles–sounds so cozy. It’s a nice contrast to the cold and dark outside, where monster may lurk.

  11. I really enjoyed the peek into your childhood past and the nostalgic feel of this haibun. Oh that owl haunted me too as I read this.

  12. This is stunning. What a lovely memory – wonderfully sketched. The content, I think, lends itself particularly well to the haibun form.

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