As he huddled he started to listen, he started to hear small sounds in the grass near his hole. His eyes started to adjust to the light of the setting sun. Maybe it wasn’t so dark after all and most of all he started to get hungry. He had a feeling that the woman with a nice face wasn’t going to be back to let some nice fat mice run in the grass. He was on his own and he was hungry. He was getting really hungry. He hopped a few steps and leapt up into the air.
Wow! This was a lot different from the grass around the rehab center. He climbed a bit higher. He could see where the sun had set. It was still a little pink far in the west. He widened his eyes a bit. He hadn’t opened his eyes fully in darkening light in a long time and he was so overwhelmed with what he was seeing he forgot to be afraid for a moment. He glided on the breeze and looked down on the waving grasses and the trees that were moving slightly in the breeze and he saw something moving in the grass. Dinner! He thought and he dove without thinking about it. He grabbed the running mouse and headed back in the direction of his hole and landed. He made quick work of his dinner. He wasn’t cruel he just needed to do it quickly and not hurt the mouse more than necessary.
And then he started to shiver, with his stomach full he started to worry again. It was getting darker and darker. Things were in the dark, bad things and now he was one of the things in the dark. It was weird to think that some one might be afraid of him in the dark.
But you can only be scared for so long and then you start to think and Hermes was thinking hard.
Last time he was out here alone he was small and didn’t even have feathers. Now he had feathers so he could fly if he needed to. He had nice long talons. He sat there flexing his claws. They were a lot bigger too and that nice lady had taught him how to catch his dinner, maybe they could do other things too.
He launched himself back in the air. He floated silently over the meadow. It wasn’t as dark out here as he feared. He saw little sparks of light everywhere. He floated close to where some glow worms were making a path. He saw some mushrooms on a tree that glowed faintly and slowly he noticed something else making light. The moon started to rise in the east. He landed on an oak at the edge of the meadow. He sat and watched as the moon rose higher and higher in the sky. It was big and full and beautifully bright and white with just the right of spots to not be perfect and still feel friendly. He felt it was here just to be a night light for him. He flew up and up and up across her face and then he heard a kind voice in his head.
“Enough, little owl, that’s high enough.”
He stalled in flight. “Whooo was that?”
“Hermes, It’s me, Luna. I’m right in front of you.”
“Luna??? The moon???” the owl hooted.
“Yes, Hermes. Me. The moon.” It was a soft loving voice.
Hermes shivered a bit. “Is it alright for me to fly here?”
“Always, little one. Just don’t fly so high you can’t get back down. I’m always here even if I shrink so small I’m hard to see. I’ll be your night light. Now go!” she said firmly.
Hermes slid back down on the moonbeams until he was back over his meadow.
He felt safer now. He had a night light. Whooo knew? Maybe he was going to be alright after all. He wave a wing at Luna and glided over his meadow. It was time to hunt again.