Kat Johnston Art - This is the owl who sits all alone, longing for the fruit of the carambola tree.

A little brown owl sat upon a tiny branch, growing from a bough on the old oak tree. He was restless, shuffling back and forth before looking wistfully to the sky. ‘I want more,’ he said, to no-one but himself, ‘I want to be like the stars, all twinkley in the night.’

A little grey field-mouse had overheard the owl, and clapped his paws together in quiet delight. If the owl left the forest, he could run around at night without fear of being swooped upon. He scurried up the tree as silently as he could and dangled very close to the brown owl’s ear.

‘Ooooohh,’ he said, all spooky and mysterious, ‘Ooooohh, I am a star. I have heard your plea.’ Little brown owl hooted in surprise and looked all around, but field-mouse was very well hidden. ‘Search for a fruit shaped like me,’ whispered the cunning pretend-star. ‘If you eat of the fruit, you will become all twinkley in the night.’

Little brown owl had heard of the starfruit, but had never imagined that it could turn a little brown owl into a twinkley star. He flapped his wings twice and leaped from his branch, not certain where to start looking for this incredible fruit. He was ready to do whatever it took if it could mean that he would be other than a little brown owl.

He flew for five miles as darkness descended, lazily looping as he pondered where to go. He saw a twinkling not too far away, of a township lit up in the eve. ‘Aha!’ hooted the owl ‘There are lights on the earth, as there are in the sky. That must be where the starfruit gather’. Little brown owl had never seen a town before.

He quickly arrived at the edge of the township, but although there were twinkling lights, they didn’t look like stars at all. ‘They must be further inside’ he thought, as he saw a rat bound past.

He plunged, pinning the rat to the ground. ‘Where is the starfruit,’ he cried. The rat looked up in surprise. She was expecting to be eaten, not questioned. ‘There is fruit at the greengrocer,’ she replied cautiously, ‘Its just down the street. They are open late tonight,’ she added hopefully.

Little brown owl glared at the rat, taking to the air once more, only to alight moments later on a lamp-post just outside the greengrocer store. He peered at the stalls that lined along the street, seeing apples and rockmelons, but not one single fruit that was shaped like a star. He would have to go inside.

He hopped into the store to the awe of the people. He fluffed himself up just as proud as can be when he spotted a fruit shaped just like a star. Under it was a brightly painted tag saying ‘carambola’, but he didn’t care what that said. It was a starfruit. It would make him twinkley like a star in the night.

Little brown owl leaped up onto the display and dipped his head to pierce the green skin of the fruit with his sharp beak, crowing a triumphant ‘hoo-hoo!’ The greengrocer was not as impressed as he. The greengrocer sneaked up behind the greedy owl and put a basket over him, capturing him neatly. Little brown owl didn’t care, he was going to twinkle and shine like the stars in the sky.

As he was transferred to a cage, his shoulders drooped. He was not twinkling or shining at all, not even a little. He looked wistfully at the stars for a moment, as the doors of the van slid shut behind him, cutting them off from sight. Little brown owl no longer wanted to be a star. He longed for his tiny branch, growing from a bough on the old oak tree.

For why this quick story was written, there’s a bit of an explanation after the cut.

Ok, please excuse my horrid attempt at a quick story to go with that picture. I felt it needed something. The ‘actual’ story as to why that picture was drawn is this:

I went shopping a couple of days ago to pick up some supplies for the following few days. As I wandered through the fruit and vegetables department, I came across the carambola, a fruit I had not tried for quite some years. I had to pick one up. As I got to the cash-register, the check-out guy said ‘is this starfruit?’ I said ‘Yup, but the name in the system probably starts with a ‘C’… I can’t remember the rest.’

He held it up to the check-out guy in the next isle and said ‘Hey, what’s this?’ To which the man in the next aisle over replied ‘starfruit?’ Check-out guy nodded, saying ‘that’s what I said!’

I interjected (hoping that I might be able to speed up the process), offering, ‘If it helps, I remember that the name looked kinda like ‘Columbia’ from a bit far away’… He scrolled down the list of fruits. ‘Carambola?’

‘That’s it! Yay! At least on wiki when you search for starfruit it goes directly to the carambola page…’

After that, I mentioned it to a friend, saying that I might make that little story the thing on my blog today. She said that I should draw a picture to go alongside it, and offered suggestions of ‘The Unwise Owl’ or ‘Air-head Jenny’. I went with the former, to which she said ‘Owls and starfruit don’t really do together, do they?’ so this story is an attempt to show how they do, I guess. Phew! Long post today!