Contents Illustrations I — Scaring Johnny Green II — A Newcomer III — Solomon Likes Frogs IV — An Odd Bargain V — The Cold Weather Coat VI — Solomon Needs a Change VII — The Blazing Eyes VIII — Watching The Chickens IX — Hallowe’en X — A Troublesome Wishbone XI — Cured At Last XII — Benjamin Bat XIII — The Lucky Guest XIV — Hanging By The Heels XV — Disputes Settled XVI — Nine Fights XVII — Cousin Simon Screecher XVIII — A Cousinly Quarrel XIX — The Sleet Storm XX — A Pair Of Red-Heads XXI — At Home In The Haystack XXII — It Was Solomon’s Fault Credits A Word from Project Gutenberg The Full Project Gutenberg License
Solomon Owl Sat Up And Listened Frontispiece
Solomon Found Mr. Frog’s Shop Was Closed
Benjamin Bat Asked Solomon’s Advice
“It’s All Right!” Said Solomon
The Tale of Solomon Owl
I Scaring Johnny Green
When Johnnie Green was younger, it always scared him to hear Solomon Owl’s deep-toned voice calling in the woods after dark.
“Whoo-whoo-whoo, whoo-whoo, to-whoo-ah!” That weird cry was enough to send Johnnie Green hurrying into the farmhouse, though sometimes he paused in the doorway to listen—especially if Solomon Owl happened to be laughing. His “haw-haw-hoo-hoo,” booming across the meadow on a crisp fall evening, when the big yellow moon hung over the fields of corn-shocks and pumpkins, sounded almost as if Solomon were laughing at the little boy he had frightened. There was certainly a mocking, jeering note in his laughter.
Of course, as he grew older, Johnnie Green no longer shivered on hearing Solomon’s rolling call. When Solomon laughed, Johnnie Green would laugh, too. But Solomon Owl never knew that, for often he was half a mile from the farm buildings.
A “hoot owl,” Johnnie Green termed him. And anyone who heard Solomon hooting of an evening, or just before sunrise, would have agreed that it was a good name for him. But he was really a barred owl, for he had bars of white across his feathers.
If you had happened to catch Solomon Owl resting among the thick hemlocks near the foot of Blue Mountain, where he lived, you would have thought that he looked strangely like a human being. He had no “horns,” or ear-tufts, such as some of the other owls wore; and his great pale face, with its black eyes, made him seem very wise and solemn.
In spite of the mild, questioning look upon his face whenever anyone surprised him in the daytime, Solomon Owl was the noisiest of all the different families of owls in Pleasant Valley. There were the barn owls, the long-eared owls, the short-eared owls, the saw-whet owls, the screech owls—but there! there’s no use of naming them all. There wasn’t one of them that could equal Solomon Owl’s laughing and hooting and shrieking and wailing—at night.