The Barn Owls
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Tony Johnston's THE BARN OWLS recalls in quiet tones the memory of a barn that has stood alone in a wheat field for one hundred years at least. The owls have nested there and have hunted in the fields and circled in the night skies as time slowly slipped by. Every night, as the moon rises, a barn owl awakens and flies out to hunt. Feathered against the endless starry night, he swoops and sails to the darkened wheat field below and catches a mouse in his nimble talons. With outstretched wings, this barn owl returns to his barn nest and his hungry family, repeating the ageless ritual his ancestors have practiced here, in this barn, for at least one hundred years. Following the life cycle of the barn owl, this gentle poem evokes a sense of warm sunshine and envelopes readers with the memory of the scent of a wheat field.