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The story, Owlie, written by Vijaya Ghose talks about a little owl who found its way into Payel’s family. The story portrays how the lives of animals are no different than the lives of humans as they do need care and love to survive.
The story starts with Payel shouting to our mother that Owlie’s gone! Her mother refuses to entertain the thought as she questions where could have the owl gone, when Payel retorts by saying that someone had left the garden door open and that Owlie is not in her cage. Her mother comes running and sure enough, there was no sign of Owlie. The author poses the question for the readers asking what an owl could have been doing in their home. Payal’s house was home to all kinds of creatures, mainly abandoned animals.
Whoever found an abandoned or a lost animal or a bird, they brought it to their house as Payel’s mother would knows that animal back to health. This was how the owl was brought to her home by Shefali Didi. When Payal’s mother opened the carton, there was the smallest of owlets sitting in one corner, a small ball of brown and grey.
Her mother was not experienced with owls but took great care with the little owlet. Bile had named the little owlet, Owlie and they popped her inside the cage. A problem arose when they realize it owls usually feast on rats and snakes and meat whereas their family was strictly vegetarian.
But now that Owlie had come to stay, she had to get over her dislike for meat. Her mother started ordering meat for the little owl. Initially they did not know how to take care of the owl. For example when did old is presented with her food she was not able to eat. So Owlie had to be
forced to eat. Payel’s mother would take the minced meat in her hands, crush it to fine pieces and then forcefully open the beak of the owl and push the food inside. They faced a jump scare when after trying to feed the owl for the first time, Owlie fell on her back almost as if dead. Both mother and daughter shed tears of sadness when they thought that they had killed the owlet but then Owlie opened one of her eyes and realized that it was a defense trick which they played to scare away the danger.
Slowly after that, Owlie started getting accustomed to the habits around her when they try to feed her. Owlie soon realized that if a hand came towards her it meant food! Payel, in the meantime, discovered that Owlie was a Spotter Owlet which had a grey-brown coat, heavily spotted with white neck band and yellow eyes. She fell in love with the little bird and started taking care of her. She saw that the cage was cleaned every day. She filled the water bowl. Once Owlie began to eat by herself, Payal too could feed her.
One day, they decided that the little owl need it to learn how to fly, so that once she grows up she can be freed. They took her to the library, which had two doors, one which opened to the main house and the other which opened to the garden. Here Owlie was freed from the cage to learn to fly around the room when both doors were safely locked. Every night, Payal would leave the cage door open and put a plate of mincemeat on top of the cage.
Soon Owlie started flying and started finding meats around the room. Initially they used to close Owlie’s door but then later realized that since both doors are fastened, there is no point to close the cage. Every day, while returning home from school, Payal would peek in the room and find that Owlie is sleeping inside the cage but one day, she came home to find the cage was open and so was the garden door and there was no sign of Owlie. Tears ran down Payal’s cheeks.
They obviously wanted Owlie to find her way out in the open but not so soon, as she was still very small and they were worried what if the big birds attacked her. Finally, her mother consoled her, after searching for a long time, that what’s done is done and that Payal should cheer herself by reading a book.
When the latter went to the library to grab a book, she spotted a curio, which she has never seen before, in the shape of an owl. She was about to pick it up when the curio opened one eye… It was Owlie pretending to be a curio! Delighted, Payel gave a shout of joy to her mother and said that their little owl is back.
Payel’s mother represents how all animals of all kinds should be properly treated. She’s a generous woman who despite not living in a big farm or in a big house, has a big heart for all abandoned or injured animals. She has never handled an owl yet she did not step away from taking up such a big duty and performed all her work with care. Though they are a family of vegetarians, Payel’s mother even went to lengths to take care of the owl by ordering meat in her household.
She even prepared the meat and fed the owl with proper and gentle care, just like a mother bird would take care of her children. Payel’s mother is a woman with a big heart and always had an air for caring animals. She shows how old humans should respect and love animals as they to deserve the same life as we humans care for
Payel is just like her mother, in terms of care and affection towards animals of all kinds. She, too, like her mother loves to take care of abandoned or injured animals and wants to learn more about them in order to help them. She reads a lot about animals in her library almost as a finding solace through the reading. Later on, Payel also took care of handling the owl by cleaning and feeding and watching over her.
She loved being with animals as seen through the fact that she loved when Owlie ate from her hand. She was patient and kind and was inconsolable when they discovered Owlie might have flown away. She loved Owlie like her own and was grief stricken when she realize that she might never see Owlie again. But I was a sweet generous girl like her moth
Through the story the author tries to portray how animals, abandoned or injured, must be treated by humans. Animals and birds are also flesh and blood creatures, who are entitled to their own emotions and should be looked after with proper care and love just like how Payel and her mother takes care of Owlie.