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My Blog

A Bald Head and the Owl

Good morning.  I can't tell what type of day it is going to be yet...the sun is just starting to peak it's head up from the horizon.  I have plenty on the agenda for today.  Getting ready for the Grove show in Glenview.  Painting and then some more painting is in my future. My photo for the day is of a display in a nearby resale shop.  I thought their use of gloves was amazing.  How creative.   
Today's blog is about a ghost story.  One of my favorite stories to tell is about the bird woman....the LeChuza.  It is a great story of a black bridge and the fear connected to the spot...all because of the LeChuza.  With the proper voice and just right timing....a great scary tale.  As I told the story on Saturday, it made me remember an actual tale of my very own...the OWL.  You see, as a child, I would sit on the front porch of my grandparents home after dinner every night.  We would like in there Dove Grey Rocking chairs and usually stitch or crochet.  My grandfather was rocking one evening when I asked the question.  The question that no man wants to ever hear.  I proceeded to ask him why he didn't have any hair.  Well, my grandfather....bless his heart...couldn't explain that it was part of the aging progress and that some men might be more prone to others when it came to losing hair.  No, my grandfather proceeded to tell me a STORY of how he lost his hair...and to make matters worse...at the time...I BELIEVED him and his story. 
With a tense voice he began to explain how one summer...it was so hot out and the heat continued through the night.  With our homes so close to one another...there was no way for air to filter through the gangways and into the windows of our bedrooms.  He said that no matter how many times he washed himself down with water from the sink, he couldn't seem to cool down.  He finally gave up and took his pillow and a lounge chair and set himself up a makeshift bed on the front porch.  Now outside of our home sat this great big Catalpa Tree.  It seemed that an owl decided to perch itself in the branches and called it home.  Grandpa proceeded to explain that the owl in the tree was a female and that she was on the lookout for nesting materials.  Since she was a nocturnal animal....what better time that in the middle of the night to search.  Grandpa was a sitting duck, so to speak.  He said that once he got comfortable and an occasional breeze aided in the ability to finally fall asleep, the owl sat watch.  That night was the perfect night for the owl to come down off of its perch and peruse the area.  She must have noticed the white hair on my grandfathers hear shining under the light of the moon and swooped down to take a closer look.  Upon landing, she decided that it was perfect for her nest.  She silently crept forward until she was close enough to peck away.  She pulled strand by strand  of grandfather's crowning glory until he finally felt an uncomfortable pull which woke him.  Upon his waking, the owl flew away with all his hair in her mouth.  He told me that was why he only had hair around the very bottom which wrapped around the lower portion of his head. 
This petrified me of being out of doors at night and especially in any vicinity of that Catalpa tree for fear that the owl would decide she needed some of MY hair.  I can remember countless evenings when I would be sitting there on the porch and would suddenly hearing the sound of the owl.  I would begin getting fidgety in my seat and finally get up and go indoors.  One evening my grandmother...already suspecting that grandfather's story was the basis for my fear, pulled out a cotton babushka (a scarf) and handed it to me to tie around my head.  She told me that it would keep the owl from seeing my hair.  I tied that babushka on my head every evening.  As I got older and was a babysitter down the street for 3 boys, I would have to walk home in the evening.  I pretty much had figured out that my grandfather had made up that story....but I must admit...each time I came close to that Catalpa Tree...my walk became quickened and upon reaching the tree...I ran past until I reached the stairs to safety.  It was many years later when I realized my grandfathers gift of gab and his ability to tell a whopper.  I always wondered how he came up with the idea of an owl...and it finally dawned on me that he smoked White Owl Cigars....that had to have been his inspiration. 
copyright...by Debi Gajewski

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