Owl: Good Listener

It was Tom’s first day at his new school. ‘I’m scared,’ he said aloud, hoping no-one heard. He stood at the edge of the playground by the field, feeling utterly lost and alone. He knew he had to line up over there when the buzzer went, but after that was anyone’s guess. Too old to have his mum come beyond the gate, but too young to know quite what to do.

‘You’ll be fine,’ Martha had told him at breakfast and then, ‘there’s nothing whatever to be scared about,’ knowing this was not totally true. She had felt nervous on her first day too.

Suddenly, Tom heard a voice from a nearby tree.  It was Owl. ‘Hello Tom. Just thought I’d pop by to see how you are.’


Owl said, ‘Starting anything new is a bit tricky. Till you get used to it, that is, then it doesn’t feel tricky at all.’

‘It feels bad now,’ muttered Tom, shuffling his feet.


More silence.

‘Go on,’ whispered Owl.

Tom looked up and met Owl’s gaze. It was a kind gaze, the kind of gaze that you might want to share stuff with, a gaze that wouldn’t tell you things that weren’t true, maybe one that wouldn’t tell you anything much at all.

‘It’s just that…’ started Tom. ‘I feel so silly and I don’t know anyone and I’m on my own and people will ignore me or look at me in a funny way and, and …’

‘What else?’ said Owl softly, as if what he’d said already wasn’t bad enough.

Another silence.

‘Best to say how you feel,’ said Owl, with a little sigh. ‘Best let the words come out into the air, rather than whirl around in your head.’ He waved a wing in a circle to show where the feelings might go once out and about.

And then Tom, amidst tears and frustration, talked about what it felt to be alone in a strange place and how his stomach would rumble and he’d be scared to go to the toilet and…It went on for some time and then he stopped suddenly and looked up at Owl.

‘Do you feel a bit better now?’ Owl asked.