Old man Mose came out of them piney woods and never again was the same. Nobody knows what happened there, except'n it was bad and he was behind it.
From that time forth, he was plagued by owls. Often went into the woods, which is what you do if you live there, only he was a gentle critter holding neither rifle nor ax. But he done something, no doubt about that.
Came back very often after that with rips in the flesh. The owls caught him from behind, and, you know, the problem is, everybody always has a behind, and there are many owls.
Why didn't he just leave this mountain, go down to the flats? Lots of folks live down there and everywhere with more serious plagues than owls, and they just adjust to it. Heat, winds, no rains, they say, where you gonna go? For them, for most anyone, their world is all there is. Nobody makes good sense in their living arrangements.
There was no real askin', neither, as you don't want to partake of another's evil and banished forlorn pride and anguished isolation. You behave to him as if you didn't know what was perfectly obvious, like a lost limb.
Once he met a mountain maid way back in the piney woods, up before the wind begins. He meant to leave her but was distracted by owls, she said. Didn't leave soon enough. And so he brought her back to his cabin.
The little girl was born the requisite time after. Eyes open and following him as he came into the bedroom, until he left. Not smiling, neither.
Whatever happened way back long ago, she was there to account for it. Nobody doubted it, as nobody could explain it neither. But you see lightning, then thunder, and eventually you link 'em in your head, before it's explained rightly.
The little girl made sure as soon as she was able there was no need of owls. He was safe from them in the woods now, at least, though no longer could he hide from trouble in his cabin.