Seeing Owls

Author: Coni

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Everything belongs to me!

Summary: A ten-year-old girl relates her story about her best friend and her experience with life.

A/N: A short story I wrote for 2004's Scholastic Art and Writing Contest. Hope you like! Please r/r! J

Part 1

Grown-ups never see what kids see.

Like whenever I draw something, my mom never knows what it is. I always have to explain to her, and even after I do, she still doesn't get it.

I draw owls. Even though I just turned ten, I know I draw good owls. Grown-ups always just glance at them and say, "Oh, that's a cute egg." They don't care, or want to care, that it's an owl. But I like it, and they'll always be special, because my best friend Debbie taught me how to draw them.

When we first moved here to this small town a long time ago when I was seven, my mom and I moved in across the street from Debbie Goldenstein. We were driving there in our car, and I looked out and saw an owl. I couldn't see it very clearly, it was just a small bit of brown, but I was sure it was an owl, maybe even a great-horned one, like we learned at school.

I told Mom, and she said, "Owls only come out at night, Cassie, sweetie."

And I pondered that for the rest of the ride to our new house. I guess I couldn't really blame my mom for not seeing these things; grown-ups never do. They always think they know everything, they always assume everything. And Mom saw hardly anything after Dad left us about three years ago. She just moved us around, complaining about how bad each place was.

So I met her the first day we moved here. I saw her while Mom was getting our new house ready. I was sitting on our porch swing, and dangling my legs, when she called.

"Hey," she said. "Are you going to live here?"

I regarded her with slight distaste. She was in a grubby t-shirt and a flowered jean skirt, with mud prints all over. I couldn't tell if her hair was naturally dirty blond or just really dirty. It was held in two lopsided pigtails, and tied with mismatched hair bands.

"Yeah," I said, starting the swing with a creak.

She took a step forward. "I'm Debbie," she told me. "Debbie Goldenstien."

I didn't say anything, just kept swinging and creaking until she said, "What's your name?"

I looked at her again. She stared back. "Cassie Williams," I said quietly.

A grin suddenly lit up her face. "Ok," she said happily. "Glad to be friends with you, Cassie Williams."

And that's how I became Debbie Goldenstein's friend.