The Owl and the Pussy-cat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat

By Edward Lear 1871

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
‘O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!’

Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?’
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

‘Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?’ Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

“The Owl and the Pussy-cat” is one of my favourite childhood poems. I love the sense of nonsense and rhyming lines; who would have thought of eating mince with quince, with a runcible spoon. I have never actually seen a runcible spoon. Have any of you?

The painting below, “Owl and the Pussy-cat” is ย in my Etsy store, available as a print. I really love the way this painting has turned out. It was painted on a vintage fairy tale book page. It’s so vibrant and whimsical. I’m thinking of doing a series of “Owl and Pussy-cat” paintings. Perhaps one of their wedding, or travelling at night or meeting the Piggy-wig.

Owl and the Pussy-cat

Two afloat in a boat

Detail

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21 thoughts on “The Owl and the Pussy-cat

  1. My father was always singing me little rhymes or telling me stories and this was one of our favourites, I especially loved the thought of them dancing by the light of the moon.

  2. Pingback: The Owl and the Pussycat sailed through the air | Winter Owls

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