Still’s head jerked up. She was alone in the bush. There were animals in the bush, and some of them ate fairies. “But not me,” Still blurted.
“Not me, who?” the voice came.
Her pixie eyes turned toward the voice; there was a dark shadow, and two rather large eyes.
“I’m Still, Stillwart, who are you?”
“Stillwart? That is a strange name, are you a fairy? Stillwart doesn’t sound like a fairy name.”
“No, I’m not a fairy.” Stillwart had almost shouted, but then in a very much smaller voice she added, “Do you eat fairies?”
“Yes, fairies are very tasty. Are you sure you’re not a fairy?”
“Very sure. Stillwarts don’t taste nice at all. What are you? Who are you? I can’t see you very well.”
“I can see you quite well, you sort of look like a fairy but you don’t have the same glow. Hmmm. I’m an owl. A Sooty owl. I don’t have a name. Are you sure you don’t taste good?”
“With a name like Stillwart?” Still stood with her hands on her hips, and looked the owl in the eye. “Have you ever tasted a wart, Mr. Sooty?”
“Hmmm, warts don’t taste good. Sometimes possums have them, I leave the warts.”
“Why do you eat fairies?” Still asked with interest.
“Taste good, nice feeling when they go down.”
“Do fairies taste the best, then?”
“No, no, mice are best. I’ll hunt them tonight.”
“Why not fairies?”
“Hard to catch, they have magic too – the strong ones. Sometimes they send me away with a salt taste in my mouth. Yuck. Easier to catch mice, nicer tasting anyway.”
“Hmmm. You’re an owl, and owl’s fly. I can fly too. Do you want some company, Mr. Sooty?”