The Owl’s Story

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This Puerto Rican legend explains why owls only come out at night. The reason lies in the fact that a long time ago, there was a great celebration, at which the other birds kindly helped the owl. However, she did not pay them back with the same coin at all, and on the contrary, abused their willingness to help.

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Do you know why you can see owls only at night? This extraordinary story took place a long, long time ago and it’s the reason why owls hide during the day. So listen carefully.

On a tiny island in the green-blue Caribbean Sea, there was a large group of sociable animals living side by side. They got on really well, and they often threw marvelous parties to celebrate their friendship.

One day, it was the birds’ turn to organize a splendid soiree. Most of the birds met right away to divide the tasks among themselves. To make sure everyone received an invitation in time, the birds sent the mighty eagle to deliver them, as he was the fastest of them.

The eagle set out at once. But when he reached the owl’s house, she was, to his surprise, completely naked! The eagle was taken aback at first. He had absolutely no clue what to do. He was embarrassed and speechless. In the end, though, he plucked up the courage to speak.

“Erm. Hello, owl. I’m bringing you an invitation for the upcoming party.” he said politely. The owl, however, didn’t seem pleased at all. She shrugged. Then she told the eagle to just leave the card on the porch, nodding with her beak.

But the mighty eagle couldn’t hold back his curiosity. He thought about it for a minute and then said: “I’m sorry, owl, but I have noticed you’re not wearing... well, you're not wearing anything! Don’t you have any clothes?”

The owl bent her huge head down in shame. “You’re right, eagle. I don’t. I don’t even have a single jumper!" she told him, turning her toes forwards and backwards. "Surely you must understand I can’t go anywhere like this.”

The eagle didn’t know what to say, so he just bid her a polite goodbye and off he went. He spent the rest of his busy flight trying to figure out a way to help her. As soon as he returned, he called a meeting to tell the other birds about the owl’s clothing troubles.

When he finished, all of the birds started squawking and chirping and screeching at the same time. The meeting turned into a racket. Everyone wanted to help the poor undressed owl, but nobody knew how.

“We have to figure something out. We can’t just let our good friend miss the party because she doesn’t have anything to wear,” shrieked the vivid green parrot. Then he had an idea. “What if each one of us plucks out a feather? We can bring them all to the owl, and she can make herself a pretty dress. And when the party’s over, she will give them back to us.

All of the birds cheeped and whistled and chirped in agreement. They started plucking out single feathers from their chests at once. The eagle collected them, putting them into a huge woven basket. Before long, the eagle knocked on the owl’s door.

“Good news, owl! I’ve brought you a bunch of feathers from all of us. We can’t have the party without you! You can use them to make yourself a lovely dress to wear. You just have to return them when the party’s over,” he told her.

The owl was delighted and nodded her yes with a happy "Whooo!" She sat at her sewing machine and got down to work at once. After a short time, she was standing in front of the mirror, admiring her new dress.

“It’s beautiful!” hooted the owl cheerfully. “But what if the others don’t like it?” she asked herself worriedly after a while. "What if it's too much? What if it's not enough?" Then she thought about going to the party and she decided her dress was perfect.

When the nervous owl appeared at the party in her new dress, everyone admired her and gave her compliment after compliment. She was overjoyed that the other animals liked what she had made. She had a really good time, and the whole night was absolutely magical for her.

But when the party came to an end, the owl suddenly turned sad. She knew it was almost time to give all of the borrowed feathers back. One by one, the guests started to leave. And that’s the same moment the owl completely changed her mind.

She'd decided to keep the wonderful dress after all. So she quietly and quickly sneaked through the back door to avoid all of the remaining guests. Many of the birds were already patiently waiting at the front door for their feathers, eager to go home.

But the sly owl had already gone. When they finally realized she had deceived them, they all went to her house at once, but there was not a single trace of her! Actually, none of the birds have seen her ever again.

Rumor has it, the vivid green parrot, the Puerto Rican bullfinches and the mighty eagle have been looking for her to this day. They'd like to get back their lost plumes. All owls have been in hiding ever since, leaving their nests only at night. But even at night, when they go out, they always look fantastic in their borrowed feathers!

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