Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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Ruth Anne

If it were a male owl, you coul've named him William Shakespeare...ya' know...bard owl.


Ruth Anne...that was an Althousian level pun...


I have nothing to add to the conversation, except that I couldn't help but read your title like this.


Oh no, now I'll automatically, involuntarily do that every time . . .


My two littlest went snow-shoeing somewhere in East Charleston- a Leadership Center. They will be doing this every Friday- or they get the option of skiing at Burke. Anyway- how cool is it that they saw a barred owl named Obraun(i don't know about the spelling)on Friday and i just showed this pic to Maeve and she said it looked just like yours!(She was sick yesterday, so i kept her home, just in case...)

I can't wait to show Si.

There's an entire series of kids books called ~The Owls of G'Hoole~, or some such. Very good, mythical and full of owl facts. My son devoured them- they are good vs evil on so many levels.

michael Reynolds

You're right that owls have extraordinary hearing as well as sight. Their feathers are very special, allowing soundless flight. The prey never ever hears them coming although the owl may have been literally listening to the prey's heartbeat.

Peter Hoh

If you've ever had an owl fly close to your head at night, when it was too dark to see anything, well, you know why people started to believe in ghosts.

Tom Strong

I knew a guy in college who was followed by owls, seriously. We both worked for a service that escorted students back to their dorms at night, and pretty much everytime I worked with him we would see an owl. Number of non-zoo owls I've seen without him: 0.

He said that there was an owl who lived in a tree right outside his window as a kid, and that they would often make eye contact.

Trivia: in India, owls are called ulu, and they are considered to be as stupid there as they are wise here.


Tom.... sure that guy wasn't named Dirk Gently and owned an Holistic Detective Agency?


I love the owl lore and stories. Awesome critters.


Huh. Is there something afoot among owl populations? Because we get all sorts of critters and birds here (yes, even in the city), including American Eagles which occasionally fly into our yard from the river, but almost never an owl. Yet we've persistently had one outside this winter(!). Maybe the weather? Tougher time finding prey? (We certainly have plenty of mice around here, ahem and alas.) Anyway, it's become sort of a regular thing for me to hear hooting when I go outside of an evening, especially.


From the prey's point of view, it's just unanticipated, sudden, and over with. That isn't necessarily beautiful. From the voyeur's point of view, however, the whole single-purpose elegance is exquisite. I feel for the prey, the wee sleekit cowerin' beastie.


I've always had a weakness for predators.

Donna B.

Owls are rare in our neck of the woods. We have an abundance of small woodpeckers, sparrows, and bluebirds.

We've given up use of our garage for weeks because of house sparrows nesting in one of the tool bins. Our motorhome's generator exhaust was another home to these birds.

The most exciting bird event was a nest of an unidentified species threatened by a snake. This took place in a tree not too far from our back door. The nest was on a limb, and the snake was headed that way. My DH hoped that that limb was big enough to survive the shotgun blast as he killed the snake.

All was well in the end. Snake dead. (I love dead snakes.) Baby birds hatched.

Yeah, yeah, I know I should love snakes too, but since the most common variety in this neck of the woods is copperhead, I kill and then identify.

Tom Strong

Pat, I think such topics of inquiry are best relegated to the time-travel thread ;)


This is a very cool encounter, Annie. And to see it successfully hunt must have been a treat.

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