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HomeRhymes & SongsThe Owl And The Pussycat Nursery Rhyme For Kids

The Owl And The Pussycat Nursery Rhyme For Kids

“The Owl and the Pussy-cat” is a poem about two animal characters in an unlikely situation. It is imaginative and doesn’t necessarily follow any logic or make sense, but is entertaining for kids due to the whimsy it brings to the story of these characters.


It is a nonsense poem by the great writer Edward Lear, first published in 1870 in the American magazine Our Young Folks: an Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls. It was again published next year in Lear’s own book called Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany, and Alphabets.


There are several whimsical concepts in The Owl And The Pussycat song including animals sailing in the sea in a boat, deciding to get married, finding a ring at the end of a pig’s nose and finally being married by a Turkey. The poem also had newly coined words like the term “runcible”, used for the phrase “runcible spoon”, which was invented for the poem.


Lyrics Of The Owl And The Pussycat In English

The Owl And The Pussycat Rhyme

Here are the complete lyrics of the Owl And The Pussycat poem

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,
You are,
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,
His nose,
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,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.


What Will Your Child Learn From The Owl And The Pussycat?

Children will enjoy the imaginative ideas in the poem while learning a few concepts along the way. From the conversation between the owl and the pussycat, they can learn many new words. Children will learn a few facts about marriage, and that it involves a proposal, a ring and an officiant. As the old English poem talks about pounds and shillings, it teaches kids about currency in different countries.

Theme of The Owl And The Pussycat

The Owl And The Pussycat is a nonsense poem which doesn’t have any logic behind it, but it is based on the theme of the two animals who set out to sail in the sea. As they spent time together, they started liking each other and thus decided to get married. It was a romantic setting with the stars above, and the owl playing a guitar while singing songs of praise for the pussycat. They then find a ring and an officiant to get married, and enjoy a lovely reception dinner followed by a dance under the moon.


Rhyming Scheme Of The Owl And The Pussycat

The rhyming pattern of The Owl And The Pussycat is ABAB.

Words that Your Child Will Learn From The Owl And The Pussycat

There are several new words that your child will learn from this poem:


Animal Names 

  • Owl
  • Pussycat
  • Piggy-wig
  • Turkey

Currency Names 

  • Shilling
  • Pound


  • Sea
  • Boat
  • Honey
  • Money
  • Note
  • Stars
  • Guitar
  • Land
  • Bong Tree
  • Wood
  • Nose
  • Ring
  • Hill
  • Mince
  • Quince
  • Sand
  • Light
  • Moon

Descriptive Words 

  • Beautiful
  • Pea-green
  • Some
  • Plenty
  • Small
  • Elegant
  • Charming
  • Runcible

Suggested Activities

1. Put Up A Skit

  • Gather your friends and out up a small play following the story of these characters.
  • One child can be the narrator, who will recite the rhyme, while others will act it out, saying the interspersed dialogues in between.
  • You can make props like a cardboard cut-out boat and paint it pea-green, a thermocol guitar, some paper cut-out currency notes and some coins. You can even try your hand at a DIY ring!

2. Draw And Colour

  • The whimsical poem doesn’t make much sense. Can you imagine an owl sailing in a boat, let alone playing a guitar and proposing marriage to a pussycat! But how about we bring this imagination to life on paper?
  • Draw the scenery of the owl and pussycat’s proposal, the ring purchase, the marriage by the turkey and the reception dinner followed by dancing in the moonlight.


1. Who wrote the poem Owl And The Pussycat?

Edward Lear was the poet who wrote the rhyme Owl And The Pussycat. It is known that Lear was inspired to write this poem for a three-year-old girl, Janet Symonds, the daughter of his friend and fellow poet John Addington Symonds and his wife Catherine Symonds.


2. Why is it called a nonsense poem?

This poem is a nonsense verse as it employs strong prosodic elements like rhythm and rhyme. It is completely whimsical and humorous in tone and employs some of the techniques of nonsense literature with the use of anthropomorphic animal characters.

Also Read:

Pussy Cat Pussy Cat Rhyme for Kids
Row Row Row Your Boat Rhyme for Nursery Children
Ring Around the Rosie Rhyme with Lyrics for Kids



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