It took the baby owl a whole day, a night and a morning to figure out what was wrong with her. From the moment she hatched, the feeding birds looked at her with disbelief, astonishment and expectation. They brought her worms, brought her flies, brought her bits of peanut and watched. With their silly big eyes, they looked at her as if any moment she would fly. They'd even decided that watching baby owl eat, sleep and grow was more important than looking after the other eggs in the nest. Baby owl felt embarrassed and didn't know how to react to their attention.
“What is wrong with me?” she wondered. “Why are they looking at me like that?”
It was a creaky branch that broke the news to baby owl.
“Hey,” the branch creaked. “Aren't you supposed to be one of the most intelligent birds in the sky?”
“Am I?” baby ow hooted.
Listen to yourself!” the branch said. “Your voice was made for wisdom, yet all you utter is stupidity! Your mother should have know better than to lay her egg in a pigeon's nest.”
“What do you mean?”
“Pigeons make rubbish parents.”
“They are... pigeons? But... but I love them!”
“Madness!” the branch creaked. “Owls don't love anybody.”
Baby owl wanted to know how the branch knew so much about her real parents, but he wind settled and the branch refused to creak again. Baby owl rubbed her feathers against the shell of one of her siblings until the egg became so shiny that baby owl could see herself in the reflection. A flat face with a crooked little beak stared back.
“I look nothing like my pigeon parents,” the baby owl thought, “so it is true. My real parents just dumped me here. They didn't even stick around to see me fly. Why didn't they love me?”
“Because you are an idiot,” a branch on another tree croaked. “Idiot!”
“That's enough,” baby owl shrieked. “If I have lost my wisdom, I shall go out and find it!”