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An Owl? Help Out this Librarian with a Stumper! 
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:31 am
Posts: 1
Post An Owl? Help Out this Librarian with a Stumper!
I’m a librarian and I recently received a request from a young patron for a story by Robert A. Heinlein and I’m completely stumped on how to find it or even how to prove or disprove its existence. It may have even been a book but again I’m not certain. My understanding is that it may not have been “published” per se, but appeared somewhere and was well known at the time.

I’m not very clear on the details, but essentially the story is about an owl that lived in a tree and became very wise. People would write to him for advice. He decided that he would only open the mail if the letter came with a pre-payment of money. If he liked the letter, he would return their money.

I’d really appreciate it if someone could assist me in my search with any information.

Thank you all in advance!

Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:34 am
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
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Location: The Quiet Earth
Post Re: An Owl? Help Out this Librarian with a Stumper!
I can't think of a Heinlein work that even comes close to that story; it sounds like something for a much younger audience than anything Heinlein ever wrote for. (His well-regarded "juvenile" novels are for what we now call the YA market; he wrote no stories for younger kids.)

The only association between Heinlein and owls that I know of is a personal anecdote about him being given a stuffed owl, which resulted in the wry family phrase "about as useful as a stuffed owl."

I'm afraid I can't even guess at a possible author for such a story. Maybe someone else has a clue?

I will throw the query out on another resource and see if anyone there can guess.

Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:25 pm
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