Thursday, April 03, 2014
Hi! In case you don't know me, I am the guy who tells you every time he reads a book with an owl in it. So last night I happened to grab up my copy of HISTORY, MYTHS, AND SACRED FORMULAS OF THE CHEROKEES by James Mooney to look up something in the index ("tobacco" - none of your beeswax why!) and I accidentally saw some index entries for "SCREECH-OWL, Cherokee name for." So I looked and saw, "As in other languages, many of the bird names are onomatopes, as wahuhu (the screech owl), uguku (the hooting owl)..." (See also.) I am leaving out some important pronunciation marks because I am lazy. But if I were in charge of the Cherokee language I would make wahuhu the name of the hooting owl, not the screeching owl! But nobody asked me. Then I saw a legend about a screech owl getting his eyes burned out by hot air rushing up from the center of a hollow tree. Sorry! But that's what it said in this book. It was in the Cherokee story of the first fire, this book tells me. I was reminded of that Chinese folklore about baby owls pecking out their parents' eyes. Sorry again! What do you want from me? I'm the guy who "blogs" about owls. Goodbye!