Rereading: OWLS IN THE FAMILY by Farley Mowat

Cover and illustrations by Robert Frankenberg

Like many of Mowat’s books, this one is autobiographical, taking place in his childhood. Mowat and his parents lived in the small town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada surrounded by prairies and wetlands, and Farley and his friends spent lots of time exploring there, and bringing home young animals they found to be pets. This book is about two owl chicks Farley brought home. The first, Wol, was a leucistic (mostly white) great horned owl chick. Farley tried to keep him in his room, but that became a disaster, so his father built a large cage in the yard. Before long, Wol was tame and following Farley and his dog Mutt around, even riding on Farley’s bike, though it took him a long time to figure out flying. Mostly he walked. Wol was full of personality and feisty, taking no guff from any man or animal. Weeps, on the other hand, was a smaller owl chick rescued from some older boys who had caught it and were tormenting it. Farley traded his scout knife for the chick, and Weeps joined Wol, who became his protector. Weeps was always timid and never learned to fly, but Farley and his friends had fun with the owls, and the book has many funny stories to tell about them, culminating in a summer holiday pet parade in town that becomes an incredibly funny disaster. The owls appeared briefly in Mowat’s “The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be” about Farley and Mutt, this expands their story with lots of new adventures.

Recommended, and the art is good too.

Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat

2 thoughts on “Rereading: OWLS IN THE FAMILY by Farley Mowat

  1. David Goldfarb

    I’m a little confused why the post title says “Sterling North” when the author is Farley Mowat.

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