Caught and Freed

The owl did as he was asked. What else could he do? There was a chain attaching his leg to the cage. He paused for a moment before beginning to type and the people observed in hushed amazement. The owl hoped what he typed would buy him his freedom.

The owl looked up when he was finished and the scholar proudly lifted the paper in the air and selected a volunteer, the little girl, to come read what the bird had written. She took a quick glance at it and tried to tell the scholar it was not a wise idea to read it out loud.

In his impatience, he took the paper and gave it to the Count to read. The Count promptly arrested the scholar. After the town demanded to know what happened, he let the little girl read the paper.

"That man has caged me against my will and now forces me to type. So I shall give purpose to the skills I have gained. I have read your newspaper and understand that small amounts of gold are missing from many households. The one to blame is that man who brought me here. He has learned to pick locks and returns late many nights with gold coins. He stores them in his bookcase. What I write is true. I hope that with the gold returned, I am allowed to return to my home as well."

There were a few doubters in the crowd, so the Count, with the owl perched on his shoulder, led them to the scholar's home. They looked to the owl to point out where their gold was. The owl pointed to the bottom of the bookcase, where the wooden panel was loosened and they found their missing gold.

There was dispute about how much belonged to whom, for many humans are greedy. While the townspeople argued, the Count and the little girl unchained the owl and released him back to the forest.

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Yes, this is the end.