Friday, 30 November 2018
Reading time 2 minutes 39 seconds
Harry Potter and the half pint who winced – The Editor
I’ve always liked the name Harry.
One of my best friends is called Harry as is my Dad. I particularly like the way Harry’s are called “H” by people that know them. They do a similar thing for job titles in James Bond films.
I’m also a fan of the Harry Potter series. The books and films are great fun and I’ve developed a crush on JK Rowling. However, I don’t really care for the main character Harry Potter. It’s true that he didn’t have the greatest start in life, but he became a troublemaker and brought misery onto himself.
I recently argued this case with a 10-year-old who is a huge Potter fan. She argued back with the confidence of a well briefed Barrister, and at one point she even stopped to take a sip of water, whilst I rambled on incoherently.
Potter also owned an Owl and I don’t like Owls.
My Dad once claimed he owned an Owl. Thinking about it maybe my old man was the prototype, Cockney version, of ‘Arry Bleedin Potter. He got into some scrapes and he owned an Owl. Now it all makes sense.
One day, in the Wills house, where I seemed to recall I lived under the stairs, an Owl arrived (minus a letter). This owl appeared in our apple tree at the end of the garden just perched there and didn’t move.
This made my Dad very happy as he had never owned an Owl before, so Harry decided to keep the Owl and feed it. This was in the days before the internet, so he had to hazard a guess at what Owls might eat and he fed it raw sausages. No-one knew anything before Google, did they? It’s a wonder how humanity has made it this far!
My sister and I named him Mr. Owl and just stared at him. I’m unsure how long Mr Owl lived in our garden as half a day can be an eternity to a 9-year-old whereas six weeks can vanish in the blink of an eye. Then one day we made eye contact. You must win a staring contest with animals to show dominance, but the Owl was also well versed in this rule and when I wimped out and broke contact things got messy.
Mr Owl was the dominant one and he knew it. To ensure I understood this he delivered his first message and attacked me.
At 9 years old my promised growth spurt hadn’t arrived, and at just under 3 feet tall he could have picked me up soared above the clouds and dropped me from a great height then watched as I plummeted to my death. No one would have suspected Mr. Owl.
Mr. Owl flew at me. I fell onto my back and it clawed away at my thigh with its talons. Due to my size he probably thought my legs were more Walls’ bangers, but with less meat. My Dad came running out and Mr. Owl flew back to the apple tree.
My legs were bleeding and scarred for life. Dad looked at me and with a wealth of medical experience behind him he announced it was just a scratch. He then asked what I did to provoke it. He was, and is, a caring father and as I started to cry my Dad wondered why he didn’t have a son. He had blatantly taken Mr. Owls side.
A few days passed and he eventually phoned the RSPCA to have Mr Owl removed but I think this was more to do with the fact that Savacentre was running out of Pork than his first born child’s safety.
I retold this tale to the 10-year-old Potter fan and in her lawyer like tones she said “I put it to you that you did provoke the owl Mr. Wills.” Here was the child my dad wanted.
Picture: I once tried to grow a beard and wear sunglasses. I shan’t be doing either of those again.