Most stories begin with a character.  One day I decided to create a wise owl character to be my internet trail leader
"Why an owl?"

Do you know what it means when you see or hear an owl?  It means that spirits are strong around you, and it is a call to look and listen more attentively.  I learned this from a book called Animal-Speak Pocket Guide. 


I imagined an owl in my mind and drew some pictures on paper,
but I did not like any of my sketches, so I stepped away from
the project and went out for a walk, asking the spirits for some inspiration


Halfway around the block, I came across a half of a black walnut shell, lying on the sidewalk, and to me, it looked just like an owl's face. 




Within five minutes of walking back in the door, I put a purple marker onto a piece paper and sketched my new character – a baby owl with a heart-shaped faced and two stick legs, shaped like Y's - a word play on the word 'wise.'  Wise means 'knowing what is right and what is wrong.'




Later I added some color... I settled my new friend down in a cradle of twigs... with a warm blanket of leaves... to take a nap... BUT she was not tired... and just sat there looking at me.




I had to think of what to call her.  The name Lil Hoot magically popped into my head.  Lil, because she is small, and  because'lil' is short for the word 'little.'  I realized, however, that there was more to her name than that.


         Lil is also a nickname for Lilith or Lilian.


         Letting my fingers do the walking on my computer

         keyboard to search on the internet, I learned

         the name Lilith means 'of the night.'  The name

         grew out of the root word 'lilitu,' meaning 'spirits'

         or 'female night being.' How perfect, I thought.


         Lilith. Then I imagined a young child finding it hard

         to pronounce the 's' sound in the word 'littlest'. 

         His tongue was getting stuck to the top

         of his mouth and the 'th' sound came out instead. 

         The word 'littlest' became 'lillith.' How perfect,

         I thought.


So that is the story of how Lilith Hoot Owl, a.k.a. (also known as Lil), came into being as the littlest owl in her family.

"Where does Lil Hoot live?" you may ask. To find out, download the extended version of Lil's story...
                printable pdf version of Lil's story

Stay tuned for more via the Storywalker facebook page.


Walking helps create easy conversation with a friend or family member.  Walking Clubs can switch talking buddies every five or ten minutes.  At the end of the walk, members can share with the whole group what they learned. These first conversation starters are meant to get you to think about defining character...

How do you think your name fits Whoooo you are?
Comparing yourself to other friends or family members, what makes you special or unique?
How would you describe what you look like to someone over the phone who has never seen you before?

IF YOU WANT TO LEARN THE "Name Game Song"? Click here.
IF YOU WANT TO DECODE your name into personality traits - Click here.

Meet big "L" and little "l". Hunt for the following words in the story.  Look for the word "look" in the story.  It begins with the letter "l".  Listen to the "l" sound in the word "look".  Listen to the "l" sound at the beginning of the word "listen."
look     listen      learn     
Look at the following words and listen for the 'l' sound in them.
owl      call      will
Where is the "l" sound?  Is it at the beginning or at the end?

What is the mysterious meaning of a walnut tree? 
According to Nature-Speak the walnut tree represents hidden wisdom... "Its appearance alerts us to pay attention.  We will begin to hear and see things that have been going on around us but had not noticed before."
(For information about the magical qualities of walnut and other trees, visit the Bardwood website and learn more from an expert wandmaker.)

Do you know the differences between a black walnut and a regular walnut? 
Study the photograph above and compare it to the information on the NUTS page at and see if you can find the answers.
What important things do you need to know before you plant a black walnut tree in your yard? 
For the answer, click this link.

                   Follow Lil Hoot on twitter - click this icon >  
Become a fan on the Netwalking facebook page - click here > 
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