A long, long time ago, there lived a wise old owl.... ever heard such poems and stories about the wise nature of this creature? One such nursery rhyme, "A Wise Old Owl," narrates a story that gives a deep message. Your parents must've certainly read this poem to teach you a valuable lesson, and it is time for you to do the same for yours!
Owls are mystic characters, and your children would love to hear stories about them. So, why not start with this poem? Read on to know more about the nursery rhyme and how you can make it a part of your child's life.
Here's how the story of Wise Old Owl nursery rhyme goes:
A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?
The first step toward showing and acquainting your children to the poem is by printing a pretty picture of the lyrics and reciting it to them! Download the printable version here.
Origins and history
The deep narrative of this wise old owl is not recent. In fact, it dates back to the 19th century! With a 7734 Roud Folk Song Index number, the poem serves as an improvement to the traditional nursery rhyme that goes, "There was an owl lived in an oak, wisky, wasky, weedle."
The first known publication of the poem dates back to April 10, 1875, in Punch magazine. The earlier version used to run like:
There was an owl liv'd in an oak
The more he heard, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
O, if men were all like that wise bird.
Another version with some minor changes to the poem was published in the mid-1930s and goes like this:
A wise old owl lived in an oak,
The more he saw, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
Now, wasn't he a wise old bird?
The poem showcases the traditional image of an owl - old, wise, with endless knowledge. Its first known record is of 1875, but it is believed that it is even older than that. In 1909, John D. Rockefeller quoted the poem in one of his speeches. It is also often wrongly attributed to William R. Cubbage and Edward Hersey Richards.
Even during World War II, the poem was manipulated to encourage the soldiers of the United States army. The last line was changed to "Soldier.... be like that old bird!" to suit the sentiment. It went with the caption "silence means security."
The nursery rhyme ‘A Wise Old Owl’ sets an inspiring and motivating tone amongst the readers. It aims to leave people pondering over its words and incorporate the same message into their lives.
The poem gives the message that it is important to listen to the people around you and understand what they're trying to convey. The wisest person in a group is the one who possesses the ability and patience to give other people time to talk instead of just speaking.
The songwriter of the "Wise old owl" poem is Edward Hersey Richards
The wise old owl poem says that it is integral to listen to people rather than just speaking constantly.