Tears ran down Payal’s cheeks. They had wanted Owlie to fly away, but not so soon. She was still so small, how would she hunt for her food? What if a kite or eagle swooped down on her? Finally, Mom said, ‘Well, now Owlie has gone, we may as well leave the doors open and air the room.’ Wiping her tears, Payal threw open the doors to the room. She hoped secretly that Owlie would come in if the doors were kept open.

     Mom left the room to go do her afternoon errands. When she came back a couple of hours later, Payal was sitting, gazing mournfully at Owlie’s cage. ‘Why don’t you find yourself a good book to read?’ Mom asked. She knew that reading a book was the only way Payal would cheer up. When Payal was sad, she always read. ‘Okay,’ sighed Payal, and started looking for a book she had not read.

     She noticed a curio on a shelf that she had never noticed before. Hello? Where did this one come from, she wondered. Where did her mother get the owl from? She was about to pick it up when the curio opened one eye... It was Owlie pretending to be a curio! ‘Mom!’ bawled Payal. ‘She’s back!’ ‘Don’t you ever give me a fright like that again,’ she scolded the owl as she put her back in her cage. Payal swore later that Owlie winked back at her. She probably did. 
Payal was crying, and tears came down her cheeks. Their goal was to make Owlie learn to fly so that she can fly away someday, but not this early. She was still very young and small, and she would not know how to hunt for her food. Also, there were dangers from bigger birds like kite or eagle, which may attack Owlie. Finally, they decided Owlie was not there, and they gave up the search. They decided to open up all the doors and windows so that the room can have some fresh air. Payal was wiping her tears as she opened the doors, and still, she had some hope that Owlie might return if she kept the doors open.
Payal's mom went on to continue her household work. She came back after two hours, and she saw Payal looking at Owlie's cage with sorrow. Her mom wanted to divert her from the sorrow, and she asked her to go and read a good book. Her mom knew that reading a book would cheer her up. Payal exhaled heavily from her sorrow but agreed and started looking for a book that she has not read before.
Payal noticed a curio on the shelf that she had never seen before. Curios are rare, unusual, or intriguing objects. She wondered where it came from. It looked like a miniature toy of an owl.
toy owl.jpg
She went to pick it up, and to her surprise, it opened one eye! It was Owlie, pretending to be the curio. Payal shouted "Mom!" and said she was back. She scolded Owlie saying not to frighten her up again like that and put her back in the cage. Payal claimed that Owlie winked back at her. Maybe she did because Owlie seemed to like Payal from the way she played with her.
Meanings of difficult words:
swoop downattack with a sweeping movement
errandschores, tasks, work
gazing mournfullylook intently with sorrow
curiorare, unusual, or intriguing objects
sworepromised solemnly, claimed
bawledshout or call out noisily
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.