The mouse looked up into the sky, searching for white wings. The only thing he saw was a blue sky and winter clouds rising to the north. He sniffed and smelt the coming of snow.
The mouse left the protective roots of the oak tree, towering above him like a mountain. This was his home, his sanctuary, where no predator of the forest could find him. It was a deadly world, and he had to be careful at all times. He hurried through the snow, running from one shadow of a tree to another, always looking up, always expecting white wings, yellow talons, and black eyes.
The little creature kept on hopping, kept on hoping not to be seen. He was glad about the snow. It gave him more protection than usual. If any danger ahead or behind turned up, he would be able to flee into deeper layers of the snow.
He had to reach the edge of the forest where he would find nutritious mushrooms that only grew at this time of the year. It was one of the few things that survived the coldness of winter.
His silver fur flashed over the snow. The trees were getting smaller. He had almost reached the edge. The wind made the branches whisper. The mouse halted, ready to escape into the cold depths of the snow. But it was just the wind. He hurried on. He was almost there. The forest cleared.
Sunlight made the snow glitter yellow and violet. For a second, the world was beautiful. A shadow passed above the mouse. He turned around, but it was too late. Yellow talons reached for him. White wings blocked out all the light. He saw his own reflection in hungry black eyes. It was a deadly world for a little mouse.
The young woman walked by the edge of the forest, collecting firewood. It was a clear winter’s day. The snow appeared almost golden in the sun. Towards the forest, where shadows grew larger, the snow glittered light blue with patches of yellow, where the sun came through.
She stopped walking. She had seen something. White wings rose from the forest ground. They shimmered silver in the light. They made no sound. For only a second, the owl’s head turned, black eyes looking at her.
The young woman could see wisdom in the creature’s eyes before the bird turned away and glided through the trees. There was something in its claws, but the young woman could not make out what it was. It did not matter. She was enchanted by the bird’s beauty. Its white feathers turned grey, like storm clouds, as it moved into the depths of the forest, where it disappeared. She looked after it in wonder, and thought, what a beautiful animal.