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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the HISTORICAL genre (05/03/07)

TITLE: Wisdom in the Woods
By Donald Ford


The following story, which has been handed down to me, I believe to be true. Until certain proofs are supplied and other evidences substantiated in this matter, it will be best referred to as a fiction piece.
Until such a time as the U. S. Government issues its statement corroborating these findings, you are not obligated to believe this report.

Wisdom in the Woods

(The Interview)
Take a look with me up into this old hemlock tree. Here we see sitting on a branch of the tree, a lone owl. No movement is detected at first (owls are probably the most motionless creatures on earth). The head then moves around like a train on a turntable.
Sometimes you would swear they could turn their head all the way around.
To say this is a venerable old owl is an understatement. He has lived through decades of presidencies. I mention the Executive branch for this reason: A fact little known to the American public is that this owl has entertained more than his share of dignitaries, being one himself and highly respected in some circles.
This is wisdom from the ages past, but still rings true today. Why reinvent the wheel: some of what worked back then still works today, especially from a diplomacy point of view.
Wars have been fought, sidestepped, or avoided altogether on the word of this seer. I had asked the owl which program of our nation he would most like to be credited with, he said that was a no brainer. “The CCC Camps during F.D.R.’s presidency did more to put

our men to work in this nation, than any other single program in this country then or since this time,” this owl began.
“I am kind of partial to the forests, especially the adding of new trees for the future. Someone must secure the legacy of our nation’s trees. You can’t keep cutting back trees without a long hard look into the future. Remember, I have seen enough of the past and have learned from it, so that I might pass along my knowledge of what has gone before.”
“But what about Viet Nam, was that your brainchild?” I was really curious to know.
“No, not in any way shape or form,” was the wise bird’s reply.
“On many occasions, I had sent a number of memos to Mr. Nixon’s desk. I did not receive any communication back from him or any of his staff,” the owl vented.
“The type of wars to sidestep or avoid altogether is epitomized here,” the owl wisely reminded me. The size of the then known army of Communists was staggering. If you madden one of them, the entire hive will follow; and follow it did,” as the owl’s feathers started to get ruffled.
“The whole concept of safety in numbers comes into play here. The more good advice we seek, the better chance of an amicable outcome. That man was on his own,” said the owl now looking mad.
“The true test of any campaign is the look on the faces of the returning army. Many recall the yellow – ribboned gulf war heroes, but what about the red, white, and blue of Viet Nam?” The owl states almost in a rage. “To this day they have not received their due,” the owl goes on.

“And the Gulf War, whose idea was that,” I asked.
“Mine, mine, and mine - the Kuwaiti people asked for our assistance. This is one of the most philanthropic nations on the earth. They had a reputation for helping poorer struggling countries. The world would have felt it if they had been swallowed up,” the owl proudly recalls.
“I have to break off our interview; I just received a fax from Camp David. Someone is finally listening and now to the follow-up,” the owl concludes.

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This article has been read 718 times
Member Comments
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Beth LaBuff 05/15/07
I like that the narrative is by an owl -- especially with their association to wisdom.
Linda Germain 05/15/07
History from the perspective of a wise old owl is very creative and effective. In fact, you could probably write a whole book from his point of view. One tiny observation about presentation: more white space makes it easier to read and punches up the story. Dialogue, especially as full of meaning as yours,stands out when separated from the narrative. Again, owl-on-a- branch-with-an-opinion is very appealing; wish I had thought of it! LG~
Terry R A Eissfeldt 05/15/07
Very interesting perspective. Enjoyable. Some formatting would help it read easier.
Catrina Bradley 05/15/07
A very original concept of looking back on US's history. I like the intro, and the wise old owl. A little confusing sometimes as to who was speaking at first, which would be cleared up by the formatting mentioned by other commenters. A nice ending!
Sharlyn Guthrie05/15/07
What a creative idea, using the owl's "wise" perspective to share these views.
Jacquelyn Horne05/15/07
This is interesting through the eyes of a wise ol' owl. This piece needs to be a lot longer, then more info could be put in.
Lynda Schultz 05/15/07
We like to think that man is of a higher order than the animals (or the birds, in this case), but to say that men behave like animals is to offend the animals — they are often much smarter and less violent than we are.

This is an interesting perspective. I agree that it is worth lengthening so that more detail (and more wisdom) can be included.
Betty Castleberry05/15/07
I absolutley love the introduction in this story. This piece is unique, too. I agree that for the ease of reading, maybe a few more white spaces would help. I found myself re-reading a line or two to completely understand what was happening here and there, but this is still a very good piece. Thumbs up for originality and and entertainment value.
Cassie Memmer05/15/07
Great set-up in the intro! I can't imagine how your mind came up with this concept. (Mine doesn't work this way!) This is a marvelous piece, great POV. At first I thought it was a little stilted, but after reading it through, it fits a wise owl very well. Informative, yet entertaining, political piece. Good job!
Clyde Blakely05/16/07
Just a comment on the VN Vets - we will never receive our due for serving our Country from others. It was something taken from us and can never be repaid. But we can see that it never happens again and THAT'S our reward!

God bless and keep writing.
Leigh MacKelvey05/16/07
Kudos for a unigue and creative story idea.

I suspect some of your spacing and formating problem was error in trying to submit the story into the submission box. I had difficulty for awhile too unitil I found out how to do it. Email me if you need to some help with formatting your work into the submission box.