A Wise Old Owl
|"A Wise Old Owl"|
The US wartime poster using the rhyme
A wise old owl sat in an oak
The more he heard the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?
The rhyme refers to the traditional image of owls as the symbol of wisdom. It was recorded as early as 1875 and is apparently older than that. It was quoted by John D. Rockefeller in 1915 and is frequently misattributed to Edward Hersey Richards.
- I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 340-1.
- Punch Vol. LXVIII. 10 April 1875. Retrieved 2012-10-28.
- "Edward Hersey Richards". PoemHunter.com. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "A Wise Old Owl". LibertyandLife. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Quotes By Edward Hersey Richards". QuotePixel. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "World War II Poster: Wise Old Owl Sat in an Oak". About, Inc. Retrieved 2007-04-11.