How The Owl Got Its Curved Beak

Many eons ago there lived many creatures in the forest of the Owl near the village of the Lenni Lenape. Animal and man lived in harmony. The head of the forest was an animal by the name Owl. He was the head of the woods and he wasn't the fairest ruler. A lot of other animals living in the forest didn't like him. He would go around raving about his beak shouting, "Isn't my beak just gorgeous?! Look at how long and straight and shiny it is! It's just marvelous isn't it?" Well, all the animals especially Rabbit, Bird and Raccoon had had enough of Owl. They all wanted Owl's beak ruined so they made up a plan of how to do it. And this is what happened.>


The next day the sun shone brightly during the Time of the Honeybees as Rabbit and Raccoon headed off to the tree were Owl lived. Along the way they passed the Lenni Lenape village. One family was building a new wikwam for them to live in. Other women of the tribe were cooking dinner for their families. A few small boys were playing a stick game while a man carved an arrowhead for hunting as he watched them.


As the two animals entered the woods again Mr. Rabbit suddenly broke the silence and exclaimed, "I do hope this works. Owl has been talking about his beak for many moons now and it is getting to be too much!"

"I agree," said Raccoon. The two animals kept on walking hoping that the plan would work.


"Look! There is the tree of the Owl! We have made it. Now we must be careful not to make him mad," Rabbit whispered as they both approached the tree.

"Owl, Owl! Please come out of your sleep for we have something of great importance to tell you!" Rabbit yelled.

"What is it? I hope I have woken from my slumber for something of importance and not some silly problem!"

"No, no. Not at all. Owl, ruler of the forest, your beak is so beautiful and long," Rabbit started. Owl beamed sticking out his feathery chest.

"But can you do anything else besides rave about your beak? Can you catch mice or..."

"Of course I can. Why, I'll show you tonight. You wait for me right here and I'll bring you back a mouse. Now let me get some more beauty sleep, I wouldn't want my beak to be any less glorious," Owl chuckled. He started to go into his tree.

"But we don't want you to catch just any mouse. We want you to catch Fast Foot , the hardest mouse to catch in the forest!" Rabbit shouted with a big smile.

" Don't you think that is a little hard to do? I mean uh, uh..."

" I thought you said you were the best so can't you do this?!"

" Of course I can! Meet me here three hours before the sun rises and I'll show you I am the best. Now good bye!" Owl shouted and he stomped into his tree.

"Yes! The plan is working. Now if only Fast Foot agrees to be the bait!" Rabbit exclaimed as his two long ears rubbed together.


Meanwhile, Bird had been telling Fast Foot the plan. Fast Foot immediately agreed for she too was getting fed up with Owl and his beak. She was to go out in to the clearing in the cornfields and wait for Owl to come that night.


As night settled over the great forest the animals became even more anxious. What they hoped to happen was that Owl would ruin his beak when he was trying to catch Fast Foot.


Night came over the forest as if a sheet of black paper had fallen on the world. Rabbit, Raccoon and Bird started walking to Owl's tree. They soon came upon the Lenni Lenape village and the people of the tribe were having a feast and a dance. The three animals hid behind a wikwam and watched as the beautiful music of the Lenni Lenape filled their ears.


Meanwhile Owl had been flying all around the great woods and the fields and over the Lenni Lenape village. He flapped his wings as he stopped in the sky over the field.

"Where could that mouse be?!" Owl yelled into the dark night. He stared at the full moon for a few seconds.

"I'm right here," a small voice whispered. Owl looked straight down and there was Fast Foot.

"I've found you. I knew I could." Owl dove straight down and just as he was about to pick up Fast Foot with his beak she scurried away and Owl landed on his beak. Owl got up in a daze. He saw little mice flying around his head. He looked down at his beak. It was hurting.

"Aaaaaaahhhhhh! My beak! My beautiful, gorgeous beak! Ruined!" Owl cried. The beak was all dented and at the end the beak was very curved. And to this day the owl knows that he is not the wisest and he has always kept the curve in his beak.


Moral of the story: Don't show off or you could get yourself into trouble!

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