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The Bookish Owl – Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett

Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett

Next up is Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett.

This Discworld book is about asshole elves and a royal wedding, but I reread it for Granny Weatherwax and Archchancellor Ridcully reminiscing about their past romance (I ship those two so hard), Nanny Ogg being Nanny Ogg, and Magrat suddenly becoming super badass and killing elves left and right and scaring the shit out of poor Shawn.

There’s also a falconer that I feel a certain sympathy for. He’s called Hodgesaargh, which is not his name, but it’s how he introduces himself because all his birds try to rip his face off. He’s the kind of falconer I’ll end up being if I ever upgrade to something bigger than Artemis.

Speaking of Artemis, he’s looking especially handsome and dramatic in today’s photo. We took it on a bright sunny day, so I’m not sure how he managed to look like someone watching a sunset, but I’m starting to believe he might have some magic powers over cameras. It’s the same way he always stays photogenic, even when he’s molting and looks like a plucked turkey in reality.


Lords and Ladies
by Terry Pratchett

The fairies are back – but this time they don’t just want your teeth.

It’s Midsummer Night – no time for dreaming. Because sometimes, when there’s more than one reality at play, too much dreaming can make the walls between them come tumbling down. And there’s usually a damned good reason for there being walls between them in the first place – to keep things out. Things who want to make mischief and play havoc with the natural order.

Granny Weatherwax and her tiny coven are up against real elves. And even in a world of dwarfs, wizards, trolls, Morris dancers and the odd orang-utan, this is going to cause real trouble. With lots of hey-nonny-nonny and blood all over the place.


Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett

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The Bookish Owl – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban owl

Enjoy Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling!

This is another Harry Potter book, which means Artemis the owl is not happy.

It might have something to do with me once considering naming him ‘Pigwidgeon’…

Once again, rereading these books as an adult has turned out to be both awesome and infuriating. Awesome because they’re still great and entertaining books, infuriating because I’m sounding more and more like Mrs Weasley for every book. These kids are totally irresponsible, but even worse: what kind of headmaster urges thirteen year old kids to go back in time, dodge a rabid werewolf, steal a hippogrif out from under the noses of law enforcement, just so they can fly around to save a convicted murderer from soul-eating monsters?!

Why don’t you do it yourself, you crazy old bat?!

I have some unresolved Dumbledore issues, yes.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
by J. K. Rowling

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it’s the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run – and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry’s tea leaves . But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban owl

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The Bookish Owl – Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Here we go with Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett.

This was another Discworld reread (surprise, surprise). This one is about witches, wizards, gender roles, and of course, horrible monsters from another dimension.

It also has Granny Weatherwax, who, in the eyes of the wizards of Unseen University, might very well be both a witch and a horrible monster from another dimension.

I want to be Granny Weatherwax when I grow up.


Equal Rites
by Terry Pratchett

On Discworld, a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late. The town witch insists on turning the baby into a perfectly normal witch, thus mending the magical damage of the wizard’s mistake. But now the young girl will be forced to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Unseen University–and attempt to save the world with one well-placed kick in some enchanted shins!


Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

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Artemis the Owl FAQ

Angry owl blanket

 

“I’m not stealing the firewood. Promise.”

I have made a lot of promises to provide more owl content, so I thought I would start out with one big blog post answering the most common questions I get asked if I bring him with me to the local market or pet shop for a day out.

Get ready for Owl FAQ!

“Oh my god, it’s alive?!” 

Believe it or not, a startling number of people seems to believe I walk around with a tiny stuffed owl on my hand and I don’t think I will ever not enjoy seeing them jump when it suddenly turns its head 180 degrees to look at them.

Seriously, it’s the only socially acceptable way I get to scare the crap out of children.

…And yes, he IS alive. He’s just very good at staring contests.

This photo has not been edited. At all. 100% authentic evil.

“What species is he?” 

Also sometimes phrased as “Is it an eagle?” and I still haven’t figured out the logic there.

Artemis is a Burrowing Owl. In the wild, they often live on the prairie in holes in the ground that they will usually steal from prairie dogs. That also means that they have very long legs and short tails, because they spend as much time running as flying (and it’s my biggest regret that I don’t have footage of Artemis running, because it’s hilarious. Like a tiny, feathery Jack Sparrow).

He looks all fierce here, but 5 minutes after this photo was taken, I had to save him from an attacking blackbird.

“Is he fully grown?” 

Yes. This is really as big as he gets.

“How old is he?”

As of writing, Artemis is 6½ years old, having been born in the summer of 2012. I’m just going to answer the next question immediately and say that I’ve been told Burrowing Owls can get to be 15 years in captivity (at most).

He was just three weeks old when I got him and he lived in a cardboard box (a cardboard box that my big dogs were terrified of for a week) until he learned to jump out and I had to put him behind bars.

Bonus fact: Burrowing Owls can jump freakishly high, even before they learn to fly and you WILL end up checking they’re okay every 10 minutes during the night because you heard a crash and you’re convinced they’ve broken every bone in their body.

“What does he eat?” 

Mainly day-old chickens and mice.

Occasionally pepperoni.

“Where does he live?”

In my living room. He’s got a nice big cage where he can fly around and he also gets to fly around the living room when the doors and windows are closed (and I have moved everything I don’t want him crash-landing on).

“But it’s day-time. Isn’t he supposed to be sleeping?” 

Common misconception. While all owls have excellent night sight, and as such will hunt during the night most of the time, not all owls are nocturnal.

Burrowing Owls are diurnal, which you can tell by the yellow eyes. Nocturnal owls have pupils that fill the entire eye, meaning their eyes are completely black and look like portals into the Void.

However, as every friend who has crashed on my couch will attest to, no one told Artemis he is diurnal, because he will keep hooting at you all night if he knows you’re awake.

There’s not even a perch up there…

“How do you suddenly decide to get an owl?” 

A lifelong interest in falconry and a desire to one day become a falconer myself (Artemis is basically my ‘starter bird’) led me to knowing this falconer who one day made the mistake of mentioning that he bred owls and sold the chicks.

“Can you really just keep owls as pets?”

No.

In Denmark, you’re only allowed to keep non-native species that have been bred in captivity, and you need a keeper’s permit (which I have). I have also agreed that the Danish Nature Agency can come visit me at any time and check on the conditions. In some countries, you’re not allowed to keep owls in captivity at all.

Yes, tiny owls might look cute, but you should not even consider getting one if you don’t already know a lot about owls and birds of prey. I can’t say this enough.


I think that answers the most common questions people have. If not, write yours in the comments!

Next owl post will be about why this cute-looking little shuttlecock is really pure evil…

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Army of Artemis

Owl Army

I’m not really sure what goes through people’s mind when I tell them I own an owl…

You would think they would just accept the reality that I’m odd and be done with it, but it seems like they need to do something to remind me that I have an owl. I have had Artemis the Burrowing Owl for less than a year, but my house is already filled with all kinds of owl merchandise. I didn’t mind at first, but it’s starting to get a bit out of control… (Says I and take a sip from my owl mug)

I’ve got an entire table filled with owl figurines(last I counted I had 25), owl pillows on my couch, owl bedsheets, an owl shower curtain, owl jewelry, owl salt and pepper shakers and who knows what else… I need an owl doormat, though!

So since people insists on giving me owl-related things, I decided to have a little fun:

Owl Army

Behold, the army of Artemis! CHARGE!

Yes, I know I need help…