Annotation - Chapter 11, Page 85

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  • (85:32) "The Lissener and the Other Voyce Owl of the Worl"

This story slightly recalls an American Indian myth in which Owl tries to maintain a permanent night by repeating the word "dark," while Rabbit repeats the word "light." Eventually Owl slips up and daylight is allowed to exist. Here is a version that is attributed to the Menominee tribe, but similar stories are reported throughout North America. EB

The owl is an age-old symbol seemingly derived, in European myth, from the Etruscans. The Grey Hooded Owl is always in the background of Etruscan art, as a kind of "seeing eye" from the realms of the spirit. This has carried over to traditional Italian witchcraft, Stregha, where the Grey Owl is the symbol of La Streghoneria. SF And owls, like lions and seagulls, recur throughout Hoban's books: they are spirit harbingers in Pilgermann and Fremder, and there is a more cheerful (but still carnivorous) owl with a repetition compulsion in Hoban's children's story "The Marzipan Pig." EB