Thomas Doty – Storyteller

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The Owls are Back

Middle of a January night, and the owls are back, telling stories from tree to tree outside my mountain home. They are nearby, and just loud enough that they tempted me awake from deep dreams that had been as vivid as myths. Last time they dropped by was just after Thanksgiving, and a full moon stared onto the snow. Now the snow is gone, the moon nearly new, and the night sky blazes with mountain stars. No breeze whispers through the woods. The night is quiet, and like a good audience, listens to the owls with childlike wonder. Besides my visiting troupe of tellers, the only other sound I hear rises faintly from the valley floor ... the steady, distant roar of trucks rolling down Interstate 5. I listen to the owls. They vary the tone and pitch of each word. Their stories travel from tree to tree. Like an echo, each story finds a response before circling back to the teller. I imagine truck drivers on their CB radios, spinning tales in the middle of the night, under the stars, their chatter flying from town to town, and eventually heading home. I listen to the owls. One could do worse than be a storyteller awakened by stories.