Shivering, the little girl curled into a ball. She turned her tiny dress into a sort of blanket. Covering her scrawny, pale legs with ease. Borrowing her frail, bony arms under the comfort of her flowery garb. You could only see her head. The wild hair stretching freely between wind blows. Her face seemed like an old root, keeping it all together. You could count the freckles she had, and the sun would come out and you wouldn’t finish. She saw something in the distance. Her bushy brows came together, her lips coiled almost into one. She then looked up to her trusty friend, the Owl.
Olddie, as she sometimes called him, looked wise and proud. His wings could cloud the sky when open, yet their tips were full of grey feathers. Rare and tired, as they looked. Rare, tired and grey as the old crest of plumes covering his head. It looked like a crown of wisdom and experience. Like he was wearing knowledge on his head. Like the burden of what he’s known is slowly taking over. Just like the grey is covering with ease all the noble brown. Yet beneath the surface, a chest of amber feathers lies in wait, hoping for a moment of freedom. Just like his more youthful nature. Jokes waiting their turn behind a slew of lessons.
She looked at him. She knew him. She could trust him. Because as long as she has known the long and cold nights of early summer, her faithful Owl knight looked over her shoulder.
She smiled and savored the silence for a second. Then she broke it.
Hey, Owl, said the little girl, do you think that tree has an eye that’s watching us?
– I know trees very well, Owl answered, they never have eyes.
– Then is the Moon hiding between the leaves? She asked again.
– That would make it a very stupid Moon, said Owl with a laugh. We can see you, shiny rock! He yelled at the sky.
– Hey, Owl… she hesitated for a moment.
– Do you thin… She murmured the sounds until no one could understand.
– What is it, my young lady? How can the mighty Owl, Cavalier of the stars, the Wing between the clouds and Master of all known to the birds of night help you?
She burst in laughter. She started making voices and calling him names.
– Oh, Cavalier of the stars! She cried between her giggles. Look at me, I’m defending the honor of the stars with fine lance, she continued.
– You can’t even hold a lance, you big bird! She went on with louder chuckles.
The Owl smiled and extended his wing, calming down her hair and caressing her head.
– What have you asked before, my young lady? He asked with the patience of someone who knew both the question and the answer.
She tried to nestle her head through the small collar of the dress. It didn’t work. She gave up, looked down and whispered. She was scared to hear the answer. Terrified of even asking the question. Yet, she did. But whispered. So maybe no one would hear it. And so, no one would answer.
– Do you think I’ll find you here tomorrow…
Now the old Owl is the one giggling.
– You silly girl! I’ll always be here for you, he assured her. Smiling and closing his eyes.
She tried again to nestle her head though the small collar of the dress. It didn’t work. The collar only stopped her tears.
She got up like a proper lady. The sun was almost here. She dried her cheeks and looked into the distance. She then opened the window, and before she went in, she picked up the tiny figurine, made of lead and shaped like an old and savy owl.