In the first book in the GUARDIANS series, the reader is introduced to Soren, a barn owl and the centerpiece of the series. When Soren is pushed from his. The Capture. Guardians of Ga'Hoole (Series). Book 1. Kathryn Lasky Author Pamela Garelick Narrator (). cover image of The Journey. Editorial Reviews. From School Library Journal. Grade At the beginning of this new series, Book 1 of 18 in Guardians Of Ga'hoole (18 Book Series).
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iv. GUARDIANS of GAHOOLE BOOK ONE The Capture BY KATHRYN LASKY SCHOLASTIC INC. New York Toronto London Auckland Sydney Mexico City New. The Capture (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book 1) by Kathryn Lasky; 3 editions; First published in ; Subjects: In library, Juvenile fiction, Gylfie. Lokjdhsa - Read and download Kathryn Lasky's book Guardians of Ga' Hoole #1: The Capture in PDF, EPub online. Free Guardians of Ga'Hoole #1: The .
He felt something terrible deep in his gizzard. Soren felt faint at the very thought of a raccoon. He stopped blinking and looked straight at the Elf Owl. Omen of the Stars 4: In between the songs it was not completely silent. You'll see that in a few days it shall almost disappear and we won't have to worry about being moon blinked.
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Wings of Fire Book Six: Moon Rising. Cloudstar's Journey. Omen of the Stars 3: Night Whispers. Dawn of the Clans 5: A Forest Divided. SkyClan's Destiny. Enter the Clans. Dawn of the Clans 3: The First Battle. Hollyleaf's Story. Warriors 1: Into the Wild. Omen of the Stars 6: The Last Hope. Wings of Fire Book Five: The Brightest Night. The 39 Clues: Rapid Fire 2: Clifford Riley. The School for Good and Evil.
Soman Chainani. An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide. Omen of the Stars 4: Sign of the Moon. Christopher Paolini. Ransom Riggs. Hearts at Stake. Alyxandra Harvey. Cynthia Kadohata. The Trials of Apollo, Book Three: The Burning Maze. The Fire Within. Chris d'Lacey. The Death of Joan of Arc. Michael Scott. Dawn of the Clans 4: The Blazing Star. Island of Legends. Lisa McMann. The Traitor. Veronica Roth.
Warriors 3: Forest of Secrets. Island of Shipwrecks. Warriors 2: Fire and Ice. Rapid Fire 1: Deserter Wings of Fire: Winglets 3. Warriors 4: Rising Storm.
Percy Jackson: The Demigod Files. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Omen of the Stars 2: Fading Echoes. The Magician. The Tiger Rising. Kate DiCamillo. Firestar's Quest. Darkness of Dragons Wings of Fire, Book The Return Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts, Book 3. Varian Johnson. Wolves of the Beyond 4: Frost Wolf.
Kathryn Lasky. Wild Blood Horses of the Dawn 3. Wolves Of The Beyond: Lone Wolf. Wolves of the Beyond 2: Shadow Wolf. Wolves of the Beyond 6: Star Wolf. Wolves of the Beyond 5: Spirit Wolf. Wolves of the Beyond 3: Watch Wolf.
Daughters of the Sea 1: Wolves of the Beyond Books 1 - 3. The Royal Diaries: Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles, Austria-France, Daughters of the Sea 2: Daughters of the Sea 3: Horses of the Dawn 2: Star Rise. Horses of the Dawn 1: The Escape. The Crossing Daughters of the Sea, Book 4. Chasing Orion. That's so rude. You can't stop me," Mrs. Plithiver said firmly. Good Glaux, what was happening? Maybe she had gone to Hilda's.
He could only hope, and wait. It was nearly dark now and a chill wind rose up. There was no sign of Mrs. Plithiver returning. The very words made poor Soren shudder. When his father had first used this expression, Soren had no idea what "teeth" even were. His father explained that they were something that owls didn't have, but most other animals did.
They were for tearing and chewing food. Plithiver have them? Plithiver had gasped in disgust. His mother said, "Of course not, dear. Our gizzards take care of all that chewing business.
I find it rather revolting, the notion of actually chewing something in one's mouth. Where do you think that old expression 'I know it in my gizzard' comes from? Or i have a feeling in my gizzard,' Marella? He had been feasting on the sweet grass of the meadow mixed with the nooties from that little Ga'Hoole tree that grows down by the stream. Great Glaux!
I don't need teeth to taste. A centipede pittered by and Soren did not even care.
Darkness gathered. The black of the night grew deeper and from down on the ground he could barely see the stars. This perhaps was the worst. He could not see sky through the thickness of the trees. How much he missed the hollow. From their nest, there was always a little piece of the sky to watch. At night, it sparkled with stars or raced with clouds.
In the daytime, there was often a lovely patch of blue, and sometimes toward evening, before twilight, the clouds turned bright orange or pink. There was an odd smell down here on the ground -- damp and moldy The wind sighed through the branches above, through the leaves and the needles of the forest trees, but down on the ground There was a terrible stillness.
It was the stillness of a windless place. This was no place for an owl to be. Everything was different. If his feathers had been even half-fledged, he could have plumped them up and the downy fluff beneath the flight feathers would have kept him warm. He supposed he could try calling for Eglantine. But what use would she be? She was so young.
Besides, if he called out, wouldn't that alert other creatures in the forest that he was here? Creatures with teeth! He guessed his life wasn't worth two pellets. But even worthless, he still missed his parents.
He missed them so much that the missing felt sharp. Yes, he did feel something in his gizzard as sharp as a tooth. Soren was dreaming of teeth and of the heartbeats of mice when he heard the first soft rustlings overhead. He would forever regret calling out those two words, for suddenly, the night was ripped with a shrill screech, and Soren felt talons wrap around him.
Now he was being lifted. And they were flying fast, faster than he could think, faster than he could ever imagine. His parents never flew this fast. He had watched them when they took off or came back from the hollow. They glided slowly and rose in beautiful lazy spirals into the night. But now, underneath, the earth raced by. Slivers of air blistered his skin. The moon rolled out from behind thick clouds and bleached the world with an eerie whiteness.
He scoured the landscape below for the tree that had been his home. But the trees blurred into clumps, and then the forest of the Kingdom of Tyto seemed, to grow smaller and smaller and dimer and dimmer in the night, until Soren could not stand to look down anymore.
So he dared to look up. There was a great bushiness of feathers on the owl's legs. His eyes continued upward. This was a huge owl -- or was it even an owl? Atop this creature's head, over each eye, were two tufts of feathers that looked like an extra set of wings. Just as Soren was thinking this was the strangest owl he had ever seen, the owl blinked and looked down. Yellow eyes! He had never seen such eyes.
His own parents and his brother and sister all had dark, almost black eyes. His parents' friends who occasionally flew by had brownish eyes, perhaps some with a tinge of tawny gold. But yellow eyes? This was wrong. Very wrong! So the owl continued. I've seen Bay Owls and Sooty Owls.
Some of my parents' very best friends are Grass Owls. They're all Tytos," the owl barked at him. Grown-ups weren't supposed to speak this way -- not to young owls, not to chicks. It was mean. Soren decided he should be quiet. He would stop looking up. Soren turned his head slightly to see who the owl was speaking to.
One wonders if it is worth the effort. And don't let Spoorn hear you talking that way. You'll get a demerit and then we'll all be forced to attend another one of her interminable lectures on attitude. Not nearly as big as the other owl and his voice made a soft tingg-tingg sound. It was at least a minute before Soren noticed that this owl was also carrying something in his talons.
It was a creature of some sort and it looked rather owlish, but it was so small, hardly larger than a mouse. Then it blinked its eyes. Soren resisted the urge to yarp. Soren wondered. But soon he felt the night stir with the beating of other wings. More owls fell in beside them. Each one carried an owlet in its talons.
Then there was a low hum from the owl that gripped Soren. Gradually, the other owls flanking them joined in. Soon the air thrummed with a strange music. That's when we can talk. Hail to St. Aegolius Our Alma Mater. Hail, our song we raise in praise of thee Long in the memory of every loyal owl Thy splendid banner emblazoned be. Now to thy golden talons Homage we're bringing. Guiding symbol of our hopes and fears Hark to the cries of eternal praises ringing Long may we triumph in the coming years.
The tiny owl began to speak as the voices swelled in the black of the night. You've already got yourself marked as a wild owl, a haggard. What are you? Why do you have yellow eyes? That is the last thing that you should worry about. I am an Elf Owl. My name is Gylfie. This is it. I was within a week or so of flying when I got snatched. But what happened to you? How did you get snatched? Then slowly, "What is the ONE thing that your parents always tell you not to do?
It would have been only a week, you said. I was well on my way to growing feathers but had grown no patience. You must have tried it, too. I don't really know what happened. I just fell out of the nest. He almost knew.
He just couldn't quite remember, but he almost knew how it had happened, and he felt a mixture of dread and shame creep through him. He felt something terrible deep in his gizzard.
Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls The owls began to bank in steep turns as they circled downward. Soren blinked and looked down. There was not a tree, not a stream, not a meadow. Instead, immense rock needles bristled up, and cutting through them were deep stone ravines and jagged canyons.
This could not be Tyto. That was all that Soren could think. Down, down, down they plunged in tighter and tighter circles, until they alighted on the stony floor of a deep, narrow canyon. And, although Soren could indeed see the sky from which they had just plunged, it seemed farther away than ever.
Above, there was the sound of wind, distant yet shrill as it whistled across the upper reaches of this harsh stone world. Then, piercing through the shriek of the wind, came a voice even louder and sharper. Welcome to St. This is your new home. It is here that you will find truth and purpose.
Yes, that is our motto. The tufts above her eyes swooped up. The shoulder feathers on her left wing had separated, revealing an unsightly patch of skin with a jagged white scar. She was perched on a rock outcropping in the granite ravine where they had been brought. My job is to teach you the Truth. We discourage questions here as we feel they often distract from the Truth. He had always asked questions, ever since he had hatched out.
Skench, the Ablah General, was continuing her speech. He was not an orphan! He had a mum and da, perhaps not here, but out there somewhere. Orphan meant your parents were dead. How dare this Skench, the Ablah blah blah blah, or whatever she called herself, say he was an orphan! It is here at St. Aggie's that you shall find everything that you need to become humble, plain servants of a higher good.
He hadn't been rescued, he had been snatched away. If he had been rescued, these owls would have flown up and dropped him back in his family's nest. And what exactly was a higher good? To find one's special quality One must lead a life of deep humility. To serve in this way Never question but obey Is the blessing of St. Aggie's charity. At the conclusion of the short song, Skench, the Ablah General, swooped down from her stone perch.
She fixed them all in the glare of her eyes. After I have dismissed you, you shall be led to one of four glaucidiums, where two things shall occur. You shall receive your number designation. And you shall also receive your first lesson in the proper manner in which to sleep and shall be inducted into the march of sleep.
These are the first steps toward the Specialness ceremony. Number designation? What was a glaucidium, and since when did an owl have to be taught to sleep? And a sleep march? What was that? And it was still night. What owl slept at night? But before he could really ponder these questions, he felt himself being gently shoved into a line, a separate line from the little Elf Owl called Gylfie. He turned his head nearly completely around to search for Gylfie and caught sight of her. He raised a stubby wing to wave but Gylfie did not see him.
He saw her marching ahead with her eyes looking straight forward. The line Soren was in wound its way through a series of deep gorges.
It was like a stone maze of tangled trails through the gaps and canyons and notches of this place called St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls. Soren had the unsettling feeling that he might never see the little Elf Owl again, and even worse, it would be impossible to ever find one's way out of these stone boxes into the forest world of Tyto, with its immense trees and sparkling streams. They finally came to stop in a circular stone pit. A white owl with very thick feathers waddled toward them and blinked.
Her eyes had a soft yellow glow. Why would I ever call her Auntie? But he remembered not to ask. This time, Soren remembered too late that questions were discouraged. You wouldn't like that name, either," the Spotted Owl whispered. Remember, no questions. It is the name my parents gave me. The words pounded in Soren's head and even his gizzard seemed to tremble in protest.
He watched as the white owl, Auntie or Finny, whom Hortense had informed him was a Snowy Owl, dropped a piece of fur- stripped mouse meat on the stone before each owl in turn and then said, "Why, you're number What a nice number that is, dearie. Soren was just beginning to feel that things perhaps could be worse, and he hoped that Gylfie had such a nice owl for a pit guardian, when the huge fierce owl with the tufts over each eye, the very one who had snatched him and called him stupid, alighted down next to Finny.
Soren felt a cold dread steal over his gizzard as he saw the owl look directly at him and then dip his head and whisper something into Finny's ear. Finny nodded and looked at him blandly. They were talking about him. Soren was sure. He could barely move his talons forward on the hard stone toward Finny. His turn was coming up soon. Only four more owls before he would be "numbered. Finny continued, "Don't you want to know what it is? Questions are discouraged. I'm not supposed to ask.
And that was exactly what Soren said. Soren felt a moment's confusion. Then Finny leaned forward and whispered to him. So please, if you really really need to ask a question, just go ahead. But remember to keep your voice down.
And here, dear, is a little extra piece of mouse. And your number Isn't it sublime! It's a very special number, and I am sure that you will discover your own very specialness as an owl. I get to ask questions, too, sometimes. There was a slight glare in the yellow glow. I'm just an old broody. Love being called Auntie. Two large, ragged brown owls escorted the entire group. The glaucidium was a deep box canyon, the floor of which was covered with sleeping owlets.
Moonlight streamed down directly on them, silvering their feathers. Indeed, Soren's heart quickened at first, for it was another Barn Owl just like his own family. There was the white heart- shaped face and the familiar dark eyes.
And yet, although the color of these eyes was identical to his own and those of his family, he found the owl's gaze frightening. The two owls who had escorted the newly arrived orphans spoke to them next.
They were Long Eared Owls and had tufts that poked straight up over their eyes and twitched. Soren found this especially unnerving. They each alternated speaking in short deep whoos. The whoos were even more disturbing than the barks of Skench earlier, for the sound seemed to coil into Soren's very breast and thrum with a terrible clang.
But now I have earned my new name. Aggie's such words beginning with the whh sound are not to be spoken. Such words are question words, a habit of mental luxury and indulgence. Questions might fatten the imagination, but they starve the owlish instincts of hardiness, patience, humility, and self-denial. We are not here to pamper you by allowing an orgy of wwwhh words, question words.
They are dirty words, swear words punishable by the most severe means at our disposal. And someday you will thank us for it. These owls were so different from Finny. He silently corrected himself. Jatt had resumed speaking in his normal whoo.
I, too, was once a number but have earned my new name. You are now in the sleeping position. Standing tall, head up, beak tipped to the moon. You see in this glaucidium hundreds of owlets. They have all learned to sleep in this manner. You, too, shall learn. She had assumed the perfect sleeping position.
He could tell by the stillness of her head that she was sound asleep under the glare of a full moon. Soren spotted a stone arch that connected to what he thought was another glaucidium.
A mass of owls seemed to be marching. Their beaks were bobbing open and shut but Soren could not hear what they were saying. Jatt now spoke again. Now it was Jatt turn again. Their timing seemed perfect. Soren felt they had given this speech many times. At the sound, all owlets in the glaucidium are required to begin the sleep march. When the second alarm sounds, you halt where you are.
Repeat your number designation one time, and one time only, and assume the sleep position once more. He really did try. Maybe Finny, he meant Auntie, would believe him. But there was just something in his gizzard, a little twinge, that seemed to make sleep impossible. It was almost as if the shine of the full moon that sprayed its light over half the glaucidium became a sharp silver needle stabbing through his skull and going straight to his gizzard.
Perhaps he had a very sensitive gizzard like his da. But in this case he wasn't "tasting" the sweet grass the meadow mouse had feasted on. He was tasting dread. Soren was not sure how long it was before the alarm sounded but it was soon time for his first sleep march. Repeating his name over and over, he followed the owls in his group and now moved into the shadow of the overhang of the arch. The stabbing feeling in his skull ceased. His gizzard grew still. And Soren became more alert, the proper state for an owl who lived in the night.
He looked about him. The little Spotted Owl named Hortense stood next to him. She stared at him blankly and began tapping her feet as if to move. A sleep monitor swooped down. Assume the sleeping position. Soren, also in the sleep position, slid his eyes toward her.
Curious, he thought. She responded to her number name but not her old name, except to move her feet. Still unable to sleep in this newfangled position, Soren twisted his head about to survey the stone arch.
Through the other side of the arch, he caught sight of Gylfie, but too late. The alarm sounded, a high, piercing shriek. Before he knew it, he was being pushed along as thousands of owls began to move. Within seconds, there was an indescribable babble as each owl repeated its old name over and over again.
It became clear to Soren that they were following the path of the moon around the glaucidium. There were, however, so many owls that they could not all be herded under the full shine of the moon at the same time.
Therefore, some were allowed an interval under the overhang of the rock arch. Perhaps he and Gylfie, since they had wound up before at the arch at the same time, could meet there again. He was determined to get close to Gylfie the next time.
But that would take three more times. Three more times of blathering his name into the moonlit night. Three more times of feeling the terrible twinge in his gizzard. He felt a thwack to the side of his head. Hortense was still next to him. She mumbled, ", what a lovely name that is. I love twos and fours and eights.
So smooth. Her talons might have just vaguely begun to stir on the floor, but other than that, nothing. Finally, Soren was back under the arch and quickly moved over to the other side, which connected to the neighboring glaucidium.
The sleep monitors had just barked out the command, "Now, sleep! The tiny Elf Owl swung her head toward Soren. Or so my parents told me.
And in Tyto there are great trees, right? Many, and thick with beautiful fir needles and spruce cones and leaves that turn golden and red.
But his parents had told him that once they were green in a time called summer. Kludd had hatched out near the end of the green time. When is that? Then, every day it grows thicker and fatter until there is full shine, like now. And it might stay that way for three or four days.
Then comes the time of the dwenking. Instead of growing thicker and fatter, the moon dwenks and becomes thinner, until, once more, it is no thicker than the thinnest strand of down. And then it disappears for a while. At least, I don't think I have. But Elf Owls like myself live in deserts. Not so many trees.
And many of them are not very leafy. We can see the whole sky nearly all the time. Although most owls sleep during the day, sometimes, especially after a hunting expedition, one might be tired and sleep at night. This can be very dangerous if one sleeps out bald in the light of a full moon. It confuses one's head. My parents never really explained it but they did say that the old owl Rocmore had gone crazy from too much full shine.
That's what moon blinking is all about. You no longer know what is for sure and what is not. What is truth and what are lies. What is real and what is false.
That is being moon blinked. Is this what is going to happen to us? Let me think a while. Meanwhile, try to cock your head just a bit, so the moon does not shine straight down on it. And remember, when flying in full shine there is no problem. But sleeping in it is disastrous. How, he wondered, was such a tiny creature so smart? He hoped with all his might that Gylfie would come up with something.
Some idea. Just as he was thinking this, there was a sharp bark. They did not fall asleep, and as soon as the patrolling owl left, they began whispering again. But then, all too soon, came the inevitable alarm for a sleep march to begin. It would be three more circuits before they could meet again under the arch. Don't sleep. How can I help it? There was nothing more exciting. But in the meantime, all thoughts of flight were drowned out by the sound of his own voice repeating his own name.
Soren Soren Soren was between Hortense and a Horned Owl whose name blended into the drone of other names. Three Snowy Owls were directly in front of him.
There were perhaps twenty or more owls to each group, all arranged in loose lines, but they moved in unison as one block of owls, each owl endlessly repeating his or her name. It was impossible to sort out an individual name from the babble, and it was not long when, on the fourth sleep march, his own name began to sound odd to Soren. Within another one hundred or so times of repeating it, it seemed almost as if it was not a name at all.
It was merely a noise. And he, too, was becoming a meaningless creature with no real name, no family, but Finally, they stopped again. And it was in the silence of that moment when they stopped that Soren suddenly realized what was happening.
It all made sense, particularly when he thought of what Gylfie had explained to him about moon blinking. This alone would keep him awake until he met up with her again. Only the stars twinkled above. Gylfie understood immediately A name endlessly repeated became a meaningless sound.
It completely lost its individuality, its significance. It would dissolve into nothingness. Soren continued, "Just move your beak or say your number, but don't say your name. That way it will stay your name. Gylfie looked at Soren in amazement.
This ordinary Barn Owl was in his own way quite extraordinary. This was absolutely brilliant. Gylfie felt more than ever compelled to figure out a solution to sleeping exposed to full shine. If only they could be together in the same pit, then they could think together, talk, and plan. Gylfie had told Soren a little about her pit. She, too, had a pit guardian who seemed very nice, at least compared to Jatt and Jutt or Skench.
Gylfie's pit guardian was called Unk, short for Uncle and, like Auntie, he tried to arrange special treats for Gylfie -- a bit of snake sometimes, often even calling Gylfie by her real name and not her number, Indeed, when Gylfie had told Soren how her pit guardian had asked her to call him "Unk" it was almost identical to the way in which Aunt Finny had insisted on Soren calling her "Auntie. All this formality. Really, now! Remember what I asked you to call me?
I gave you my special name. Dad had saved the rattles for me and my sisters to play with. And you know what, Soren? It was as if Unk had read my mind because I was thinking about my ceremony and just then he says, I might even have some rattles for you to play with. I over-thanked him. It was disgusting, Soren. But now they were separated and Soren hoped desperately that Gylfie would come up with some solution.
And Gylfie, once more stuffed with some extra snake bits that Unk had given her, had become very drowsy in her pit. Unk had even allowed her to sneak in some extra sleep -- another little treat, or was it a bribe? But Gylfie could not sleep. She would be on the brink of sleep, drowsy with the succulent snake meat she had gorged on -- much too much for an owl of her size, but just as she was about to fall asleep something would prick her dim consciousness, some thought.
Soren, in the pit next door, was concentrating as hard as he could. Think of something! When Soren returned to the stone pit, she had said that she'd never seen a more tired- looking owl. Why don't you hop up there in that little stone niche, just your size and out of prying eyes, and take yourself a little blink or two?
We'll get stricter with that later. We're suppose to be getting ready for our work assignments. In my opinion, they should go much easier on you owlets after you first arrive. You're orphans, for Glaux's sake.
He had a mother and a father and a sister and a brother. He wasn't sure why, but there was something shameful about being called an orphan, especially when one wasn't. It was as if you were this disconnected, unloved creature. Soren wondered, but he suppressed the urge to ask.
Soren hopped up into the stone niche. My goodness, he thought. I did that rather well. Could have passed my branching test on that one. And then he became very sad when he thought that he had not even been able to begin his first branching lessons with his father.
Sleep indeed was hard to come by -- even a blink or two, because when Soren started to think about branching, he, of course, could not help but think about flying and remembered watching Kludd's attempts and finally his first very small flight.
Something pushed at the back of Soren's brain, a memory. Soren was not sure how long he had been sleeping but it was not Auntie who woke him up. It was something else, something unspeakable. Once more he felt that terrible queasiness mixed with dread. It was as if his gizzard might burst. But the terrible truth settled like a stone inside him. Kludd had pushed him!
It came to him in a flash. So real that he could still feel the swift kick of Kludd's talons in his side and then pitching over the edge of the hollow. His legs began to shake. Auntie was at his side.
He yarped a miserable little pellet. What did he expect? He had never even had his First Bones ceremony, which again made him remember all of Kludd's strutting about when he yarped his first pellet with bones. Would they have such things as First Bones ceremonies here?
They did everything so strangely. The Number ceremony, for example. They called that a ceremony! Ceremonies were supposed to make you feel special. The Number ceremony hadn't made him feel anything. Auntie Finny was nice, but the others really weren't so nice at all, and this orphanage business -- what was that all about? What was the real purpose of St. The only truth that Soren knew right now was a deep gizzard-chilling one: His brother had shoved him from the nest.
Think, Gylfie, thought Soren. That is what we must do! Soren and Gylfie had met at the stone ledge for morning food rations. Between the horrible truth about his brother and missing his parents, Soren could hardly hear what Gylife was saying. His head was filled with the thoughts of his parents. It seemed as if every hour he found a new, more painful way to miss them. One, he decided, did not get used to missing parents.
The thought of never seeing his mum or da again was the most unbearable thing he knew. And yet he could not stop thinking of them. He did not want to stop thinking of them. He would never stop thinking of them. It came to me first that the reason for the march is because of the shadows cast from the high cliffs into the glaucidium, and the arch is always in the shadows.
I remembered what you said, how we must pretend to say our names but instead we actually repeat our numbers. And then it was easy. We have to pretend to march but never move, so we stay under the protection of the shadows. I suddenly remembered how my father, who was a great navigator, one of the best in the entire Desert of Kuneer, had tried to explain to me that stars and even the moon do not move in the way they seem to from our view on Earth.
Some stars, my father said, even appear to stand still in the sky, but, in fact, they do move. Even the moon, my father said, which is closer than many stars, is so distant that we cannot see the wobbles in its path as it glides through the night. So, don't you see that if the motion of something as big as the moon could be disguised, well, couldn't the motion of something as small as us be disguised? Gylfie grew more excited. In other words, what would happen if we just stayed still and pretended to march -- if we marched in place?
The monitors always stand at the edges of the mass of marching owls. They don't really see what is going on in the middle. I saw a Grass Owl stumble last night. No one said, 'Oh, sorry' or 'Move it! So what if we pretend to march and stay under the shadow of the arch each time? Get it? We would march in place and give the appearance of motion. I can't wait," Gylfie said. Aggie's called breakfast. No mouse meat, no fat worms -oh, for a hummingbird! But one cricket!
This was ridiculous. He would starve. As the owlets stopped to eat, there was only the sound of their beaks crunching the crickets. Soren couldn't believe that no one talked. Owlets always talked when they ate. His little sister, Eglantine, jabbered so much sometimes that his mum had to remind her to eat. Eat the feet. You talk so much you're missing the very best part of the beetle. Always, of course, there was the hollow whistle of the wind and the endless clicking of talons on the hard rock surfaces.
Other than that, there was not much sound. Instead, there was an overwhelming sense of being cut off, separated from Earth, and even from sky. Soren began to realize that the entire lives of these owls, if one could call it living, were carried out in the deep stone boxes and slots, the canyons and ravines of St.
There was very little water -- just a trickle here and there into which they could dip their beaks for a drink. There were no leaves, no mosses that he could see, no grasses -- none of the soft things that wrapped the world and made it tender and springy. It was a stone forest with its jagged outcroppings, rock needles, and spires and ledges.
They had almost finished eating, so there was not even the clicking, just the sound of crickets being crunched. An owl next to him muttered, "I'd love a little piece of rat snake. His family avoided serving snake out of respect for Mrs. Plithiver said it was nonsense.
I have no feeling toward such snakes. Soren's father called it "species sensitivity. Plithiver's feelings and she had just said she had none. Soren, of course, didn't really believe this. He thought Mrs. Plithiver had plenty of feelings. She was a most lovable creature, and his heart beat a little harder when he remembered her calling down to him from the hollow high in the fir tree. It almost made him cry to remember her voice.
What had happened to her that night? Had Kludd done something to her as well? Or had she gotten away to get help? Did she miss him? Did his parents miss him? Once more, there was that sharp pain of missing and Soren nearly staggered with the very idea of never seeing his parents. Then he thought of Kludd and began to tremble all over again. She was so small that she barely reached up to Soren's wing tips. Don't you miss your parents? Don't you wonder what they think happened to you?
I just can't think about it," Gylfie replied. We have our Great Scheme, remember? Do you know what I just figured out about my brother? You're perfect. You see, here in our lovely stone country the cricket season is much longer.
They hide in the nooks and crannies and then come out in the sunshine to bask in the heat of the day. I think maybe the pelletorium would be better for me. She had never had an owlet suggest another workstation or training schedule.
She looked at the Barn Owl. He didn't look well. And if he failed as a cricket hunter, it would reflect poorly on her. And then again, if she fulfilled this owl's request, it would perhaps put him in her debt.
It was always good to have an owlet indebted to you. I suppose so. Soren felt the soft yellow glow of her eyes.