Saturday, October 7

Variations on a Theme

Once upon a nine-thirty dreary, while Hannah and Molly watched United Ninety-Threary

A sad and serious drama of 9/11 lore.

While puppies nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of someone gently scratching, scratching at the fireplace door.

Tis some little mouse I muttered, scratching at the fireplace door,

Only this and nothing more.

Ah distinctly I remember, there might have been a dying ember

In that fireplace's chamber, had it been a colder evening of 6 October.

Then Scrappy perked her ears alertly, as scratching sounded more overtly,

And we approached the stove covertly - wondering what it had in store

Tis true that Friday nights in Billings can often be a bore

But this one isn't, nevermore.

"Tis not a mouse, might be a kitty, or a bunny slightly gritty

They're catlike eyes upon its brow,"

As we with flashlight inward peering, dimly discerning what we were hearing

Suddenly leapt back in stunned surprise, "Holy *&%$, it's an owl!"

"Let's call Bill Murray (phone is busy); Who'll help us? Lewis Vowell?"

"Is it to late to call right now?"

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
Called this deacon, "Truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is there's a scratching, and we're sure it's an owl rapping,
And not so faintly is it tapping, tapping at my fireplace door,
That we're scarce sure what we should do - scared to open wide the door; -
A little birdy, nothing more."

Into their car leapt Karen and Lew, and to JB Stetson flew,

While we prepared with gloves and blankets, for the show with much ado.

Not the least concern he showed; firmly toward the bird he strode;

With gloves adorned and towel in hand, opened wide the fireplace door.
That bird had hidden its little body, somewhere beyond the fireplace door.
Perched, and hidden, nothing more.

Then the owl-let, greatly flitting, no longer quietly sitting,

Felt itself be captured into hands that nabbed that wee raptor.

Then triumphantly he brought it, showed the women how he caught it,

And carefully he brought it out the sliding glassy door,

Released it in from its ashy-prison, to the night sky was restored

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With octaves of a mystic depth and height