In the beginning, Owlie had to be forced to eat. That was Mom’s job. But Owlie soon realised that if a hand came towards her it meant food! Her mouth would open automatically and her beak would snap around what was offered. Only, Owlie found it difficult to know when she was being offered food and would try to take a bit out of any hand that came her way. This meant lots of bitten fingers for Payal and her mother.
     Reading up more about owls and their habits, Payal discovered that Owlie was a Spotted Owlet. She had the typical grey-brown coat, heavily spotted with white, the pale face, yellow eyes and the white neckband, which looked like a ribbon, Payal decided. Soon, Payal took over the job of looking after Owlie. 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. She loved the way Owlie took a piece of raw meat from her hand. During the day, Payal kept the cage covered. Owls are night birds, so they slept during the day. At night, when owls are active, Payal took off the cover. They had decided that they would let Owlie fly away once she had grown bigger. But that meant that she had to learn to fly. To do that, Owlie had to be in a closed room.
Initially, Payal's mother had to force Owlie to eat. But later, Owlie understood that if a hand came towards her, it was for giving her food. She would open her mouth automatically, and her beak would make a loud bite of the food. But for Owlie, she did not know when she will be fed. Whenever a hand came to her, she thought someone was giving her food, and she would bite into the hand. So every time Payal and her mother tried to touch Owlie, Owlie thought they were giving her food and bit their hands. So Payal and her mom had a lot of bite marks in their fingers.
Payal started reading more about owls and their habits she understood that Owlie was a Spotted Owlet.
Spotted Owlets have:
  • Grey-brown fur.
  • Heavy white spots.
  • Pale face.
  • Yellow eyes.
  • White neckband, (which looked like a ribbon for Payal).
Payal started taking care of Owlie and her needs. Her jobs included:
  • Cleaning the cage every day.
  • Filling the water bowl.
  • Feeding her - she loved the way Owlie took the food from her hand.
Payal kept the cage covered during the day. Owls are night birds, so mostly Owlie slept through the day. At nights, owls are active. So she took off the cage cover during the nights. Payal and her mom had decided that after Owlie grows big, they would let her fly away. But Owlie should learn to fly before that, so they kept her in a closed room. That way, Owlie can learn to fly within the room without getting hurt.
Meanings of difficult words:
snapmake a loud biting sound
palelight in color
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-1 English Standard-6. Owlie - Vijaya Ghose(pp. 101-104). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.