It was the 2nd grade social at a corn maze in Preston. So, filled up with pizza and ginger brew, they ran around in the labyrinth looking for the hidden stamp stations.
One of Porter's teachers told me a story from the day before. (A few nights ago at the house Porter had drawn an illustration for a book they'd been reading about a family of field mice. He got out the pastels and drew a life-sized picture of a fearsome great-horned owl.) Well, Mrs. Long told me how she had hung it up in the classroom. Then this past week some bird rehabilitation people had come to the class to do a presentation. They had a sawhet owl, and a red-tailed hawk and they had a great horned owl. And the great horned owl stared at Porter's picture, mesmerized, and began hooting and humming at it, just as though it were real and it was trying to get it into conversation.
A final irony was that Porter's illustration for the story wasn't meant to be of a real owl, but instead portrayed a realistic decoy that had fooled the story's main villain, Mr Ocax, the great-horned owl.