Let Us Be Like A Wise Old Owl


A wise old owl sat 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?


This old nursery rhyme was recorded as early as 1875 and is likely much older than that. It was quoted by John D. Rockefeller in 1915 and is often mis-attributed to Edward Hersey Richards. [source]

Image sources: Great Horned Owl, Barn Owl, pair of Owls grooming

22 responses to Let Us Be Like A Wise Old Owl


    Why can’t we? Indeed! Great share. Thank you.


    Love Owls.. and Have painted a fair few in my time too.. šŸ™‚ Thank you for this Gina.. Wise as always xx


    I’ve always wondered why owls are thought of as wise … perhaps its because they watch and listen while the other birds dive here and there gathering bits and pieces…
    It doe make me pause and reflect that I’d rather be an owl than a blue jay šŸ™‚


      šŸ™‚ That’s great Val! I too would rather be an owl than a Blue Jay, colorful though they might be, they’re certainly mischievous and raucous! Thank you for this thought provoking comment.


    I love owls!! šŸ™‚


    Love this Gina! I seem to go through seasons of talking and seasons of listening. It seems to me that I tend to observe and listen when I am unsure about something and talk and act when I feel confident about something. The difference between being a student or a teacher, maybe? Whatever the case, a thought-provoking post my friend! ā¤
    Diana xo


      What a delightful comment Diana. Thank you! I do notice cycles of introspection and action with myself, and I love how you put it with your own observations. Indeed, like seasons. ā¤
      xo Gina


    Great horned owl image. Owls are such remarkable birds- I just today learned from Mary at Naturally Curious blog that the eyesight of an owl is equivalent to us seeing a mouse a mile away by the light of a match. Imagine that!


      Wow… that’s incredible! Naturally Curious sounds cool. I do know the times I’ve been looked at by a Great Horned Owl, it felt like she could see right through me. One time it was a female with her smaller mate and 2 big fluffy young ones hopping though the branches. I didn’t stay long although I wanted to, but her look helped me to ‘move along now’. LOL


        I know what you mean about their piercing gaze. Last winter we visited FL and there was a pair above the cottage. Every evening we were serenaded by their haunting calls, it was heavenly for this birdwatcher!


          I also enjoy their haunting calls but have to go down into the woods at dusk to enjoy them, and I imagine that cottage stay was enchanting! And yes… ‘piercing’ is the perfect word to describe their gaze. šŸ™‚


    Your smile shines radiantly through your words…always! Such a wonderful delight to embrace…thanks for sharing dear sister! Hugs and blessings!


    You yet be reading my mind! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.


    My nanna used to quote this to me when I was little. And it is definitely older than me šŸ™‚ because somebody wrote it down in her memento book in 1928 (see https://anglosaxonceltcreates.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/final-entries-from-nannas-autograph-book/ for a photo of it).


    This is why I don’t watch the news! Depresses me into silence!


    Great words on wisdom – and the symbolic owls!