| Legend of the Oxford Owl
|Down in a small Connecticut valley, up upon a great hill,
Something happened many years ago, that they talk about it still;
In the seventeen hundreds, a mighty oak stood among the trees,
Where a wise, old owl kept nightly watch, just as pretty as you please.
From the twilight of the day's end, till the morning grass did glisten,
Ever attentive and loyal, he was always there to listen;
And when others came with a problem, or didn't know what to do,
Though certainly not all-knowing, the great owl did know who was who.
The gray squirrel and the chipmunk, the smallest humming bird and bee,
The skunk, raccoon and opossum, all of them were a friend to he;
Because when they sought his counsel, he did his best to make it known,
When answers weren't forthcoming, at least you weren't in it alone.
Then one day came the creature called Man, and gave "the forest" a name,
They called it the town of Oxford, and many of them staked a claim;
And the animals fled, as their homes, were carelessly pushed aside,
Except the wise, old owl, in his tree, who refused to go and hide.
He kept asking "who" would do this, to take away the forest green,
"Who" could be so blind to beauty, to mar it, "who" would be so mean;
But his queries went unanswered, for the men also could not hear,
So one by one the trees disappeared, their forest that was so dear.
And the time came to cut the huge oak, yet the owl would not give ground,
But the men were not obliged, and it came down with an awful sound;
When the dust had finally settled, beneath the felled mammoth tree,
Lie the body of the brave owl, among the carnage and debris.
Legend has it that the sky grew dark, though not a cloud was in sight,
A halo of light engulfed the owl, the men cowered back in fright;
What started as distant thunder, became a mighty, rushing wind,
A voice whispered in their ears, "Against this good creature you have sinned.
"You shall be afforded more mercy, than furnished this gallant owl,
"Hence this price shall be part of the home, made from the tree of this fowl;
"Those who dwell there will atone, owned by his spirit that shall remain,
"Carrying on his charity, till time washes away this stain."
With that the owl's eyes opened, and he rose from underneath the tree,
He perched there in thin air, like it were as natural as could be;
Several times he blinked his eyes, and then spread his wings on the breeze,
And though he remained in place, he appeared to fly upward with ease.
Then the halo turned upon itself, spinning, faster and faster,
Growing to blinding brightness, making all shine like alabaster;
Expanding outward it ruptured, raining sparks down upon the tree,
The day returned to normal, of the owl there was nothing to see.
So profound was the miracle, a large foundation soon was made,
Followed a mansion on the spot, where the owl and his tree had laid;
The very wood of the great oak, was used for the main entryway,
Where the spirit of the old owl, telltale, can still be felt today.
And it is said when all is quiet, and the sun has long since set,
The distant sound of chopping can be heard, and even stranger yet;
If you place your ear right on the wood, you will hear the question "who?",
The owl is still seeking those answers, which he hopes will come from you.
Today that manor still keeps watch, over the small valley below,
And the owner's a wonderful person, most say the best they know;
Like all the others down through time, that were known for their giving ways,
The soul of the owl and his kindness, persists from those early days.
(The additional personal ending for Cheryl)
Now I can't say this is true, nor would I have you believe it so,
But as for me, when things go wrong, it is to this homestead I go;
And seek the counsel of Cheryl, and the wisdom she does impart,
Though she may not be possessed there, she is the wise, old owl at heart.
© September 1995