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

Author: Gina Day

I enjoy gathering uplifting things for sharing, with hopes of brightening the day.

22 thoughts on “Let Us Be Like A Wise Old Owl”

    1. I too love owls, and have drawn a few Great Horned Owls. Have been lucky enough to see them several times, as well as Burrowing Owls and once a Snowy, but I haven’t yet seen a Barn Owl. Some day! xo Thank you Sue šŸ™‚

  1. 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™‚

  2. 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

  3. 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!

    1. 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

      1. 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!

        1. 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™‚

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