Aidan and I were in his music class yesterday, sitting in our place in the semi-circle facing the teacher. His teacher, whose name is Rebecca, has a collection of noise-making things guaranteed to captivate and enrapture babies.
Some of her favorite noise-makers are stuffed birds (plush stuffed, not taxidermy stuffed. That would be grotesque) that make tweeting noises. She shows the tweeting bird to each baby, and makes the ASL sign for “bird”, and the babies love it. In honor of October, she decided the time was ripe to show us what she called her “spooky owl.”
She brought out a stuffed, innocuous-looking owl, and pressed the owl’s midsection to produce not a kid-friendly hoo-hoo sound but a vicious, nigh-monstrous screech of pure rancor and evil. It literally sounded like someone left a teakettle full of malice on the stove and it was boiling over.
As Rebecca explained to us that she’d originally ordered the owl because she’d hoped to have a hoo-hoo sound to add to her collection of birds. When it arrived and produced that horrid shriek, she shrugged and gave up on it, though she does still keep it around just so she can tell the story.
The other moms in the class laughed at the story, and as Rebecca squeezed the owl again so we could all take one last listen to the squeal, the other moms all offered up agreeable assertions that the sound was terrible.
Because I lack a proper mind-to-mouth filter, I piped up with, “That is the last sound a rabbit hears before it dies.”
Pure silence accompanied my comment. I swear even the babies stopped playing with their toys as they regarded the giant crazy lady who makes non sequiturs that make everyone furrow their brows in confusion.
After an interminably long time, Rebecca burst out laughing and shook her head, asking who in the world comes up with something like that.
Who indeed. Or, should I say, hoo indeed?