One more excerpt from the work-in-progress, the owl book.
|Owlamoo drawn by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1928|
Author J.R.R. Tolkien made this drawing of Owlamoo, he drew it to allay the fears of his eight year old son Michael, who had been having nightmares of an evil owl. This owl would perch atop high furniture and picture frames, glaring down at the boy. Tolkien said, “I tried to draw Owlamoo from his descriptions, which seemed to rob it of terror.” He created this highly stylized owl in 1928, nine years before the publication of The Hobbit in 1937. Any abduction researcher would take keen interest when a child tells of nightmares involving glaring owls, the implication being that this might be some sort of screen memory.
Owls get mentioned a few times in The Hobbit. When Bilbo Baggins was spying on the Trolls he was to "…hoot twice like a barn-owl and once like a screech-owl…" as a way to signal the Dwarves. For an author so deeply steeped in the mythological the owl is, for the most part, absent from any of Tolkien’s books.
The owl plays a bigger role in a counterpart work of English fantasy. T. H. White published The Sword and the Stone in 1938, initially as a stand-alone work but eventually as the first part of a trilogy, The Once and Future King. This first book is a fantasy re-telling of the boyhood of King Arthur under the tutelage of the wizard Merlin.
|rationalism vs mystisism|
Walt Disney later adapted Sword and the Stone to an animated film and it was released on Christmas day, 1963. An apt date given that it’s the story of a boy who performs a miracle and is later crowned a king.
|Gandalf reads about Merlin|
Also, White’s The Once and Future King was the inspiration for the Broadway musical Camelot, as well as Monty Python and the Holy Grail.