Last year, starting in August, I gave you each month's stanza of Maurice Sendak's Chicken Soup with Rice. The year has passed, so I decided to trot out some of my other favorite poems for you. I've loved this one since I was very, very young. It was always silly to me, the thought of an owl and a pussy cat in a boat, and a piggy-wig in the wood. The lilt of the poem is a delight to read and hear in your mind. I suppose it was in the spirit of the silliness of last year's poem that I picked this one to give you first.
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat
BY EDWARD LEAR
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,
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,
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,
They danced by the light of the moon.