The homecoming

The homecoming

December 25, 2019
Early, very early this Christmas morning (at 4am just as the day was dawning), there was a soft knock on the front door. I sat up in bed and looked into the half-light of the new Christmas Day and, fretting it might be a Santa-emergency, hurried downstairs. I opened the door. At first I didn't see you. (Because I had expected a tallish, plump man wearing a white beard and a red hat.) (Never a little bird wearing a beanie and scarf.) "Happy Christmas!" you said. I looked down 
and when I realised it was you I was so happy I straightaway started to cry. (Always back-to-front.) "Have you come home?" I said, sniffing and crouching . "Yeppers," you said. "I'm your Christmas present." You ruffled a wing at some pretty things you'd flown in with. "These too. Do you like them?" "Oh, I love them," I said. "But I love you the most." So you came inside. And you have been here, telling me little owl stories, ever since. (And the one about how the dishevelled little owl should come to be wearing a woollen scarf, a knitted beanie, and snow boots on a hot Australian Christmas Day was the very best, the most exciting story of all.)