Tag Archives: poetry

The Age of the Night Stalker

 

Growing up in bygone days, especially in the summertime, we were free and the outdoors held daily promise.

We greeted the world with our eyes wide open. We took nature in. We rolled in it, hid in it, fell in it, climbed it. We played, swam, biked, hiked.

We embraced life by going outside.

A mystery I’ve observed is that the more time you spend outdoors, the higher the probability that outdoor things will happen to you.

Things like acquiring a great horned owl in the dead of winter.

How many families can say they have owned one of these majestic creatures? A killer that stands almost 2 feet tall with a wing span of almost 4 1/2 feet. Not many families have had the privilege, I’m certain.

My family was blessed to have owned a great horned owl.

Keep in mind that when I say my family “owned” the owl, I am taking liberties with language, because can anyone really own a fierce predator? A killer of the night?

No. You cannot.

So I wrote the poem “The Great Horned Owl” to tell you my story of the full-grown night stalker and its relationship with my family.

When I was young, maybe 12 years old, the great horned owl lived in our shed. A shed my hound dog, a fearless canine, claimed as his own, until the arrival of the raptor.

So I share this story with you. It took place in another time, in an age of simplicity, innocence and minimal technology. In an age when we went outside. In an age when poems rhymed.

I hope you enjoy the “The Great Horned Owl”, a true story.

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

The Spider and the Fly

By Mary Howitt

“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the Spider to the Fly,
“‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show you when you are there.”
“Oh no, no,” said the Fly, “to ask me is in vain;
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the Fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin;
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in!”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “for I’ve often heard it said
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!”

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, “Dear friend, what can I do
To prove that warm affection I’ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome – will you please take a slice?”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “kind sir, that cannot be,
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”

“Sweet creature,” said the Spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise;
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf;
If you step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you’re pleased to say;
And bidding good morning now, I’ll call another day.”

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again;
So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the Fly.
then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
“Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple, there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are as dull as lead.”

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew, –
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
Thinking only of her crested head – poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den
Within his little parlor – but she ne’er came out again!

And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne’er heed;
Unto an evil counsellor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.

 

Mary Howitt, (1799–1888) published The Spider and the Fly in 1829. It is a cautionary tale about the use of flattery and charm to mask evil and unsavory intentions. Although written so long ago, the poem is as relevant today as the day it was written. That is why I have included the poem here in FabulousFables.com. The poem’s lesson is timeless.

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid