Amanda Banker

The Soldier - Amanda  Banker

The Hero

Painting Oil on Board  
16 x 16 in

The Hero

The sun had begun to set and the evening cooled as the owl took his nightly walk. The breeze slowly flowed around him as he strolled past a vast farm on the outskirts of the village. The song of the chirping crickets was split in two with the scream of a child. A young boy ran down the road toward him. With panic in his eyes he told the owl of his brother who had slipped off the edge of a cliff and was hanging precariously by the root of a tree. Many feet below him loomed a vast entanglement of thorns. Quickly the owl and the boy arrived at the edge of the cliff, the breeze turned to a strong wind and began to swing the fallen child quickly back and forth. Without a word he took flight and dove toward the boy. The owl grabbed him with his feet and tried to climb upwards toward the sky, but the wind was too strong.
Suddenly the pocket of air below his wings vanished and the wind struck him down. They twisted and turned together, spiraling toward the tangle of thorns. The owl managed to wrap his wings around the child but took a hit to the face as he crashed into the bramble. The boy's family soon arrived and found that the owl had pulled their son out of the thorns unharmed. The owl was not as lucky. His eyes and wings had been deeply scratched in the crash. He could barely see or stand. They took him home and cared for his injuries using old farmhouse remedies. As his eyes healed their color turned distinctly gold. On his last night with the family, the village rejoiced and toasted to the owl’s bravery, calling him the Hero. The bees bestowed a gift of protection and thanks as the crowd laughed, and the Hero, eyes bright, looked towards the sky and thought of how fortunate he was.