The Owl and the Pussy Cat

So many of us grew up with Edward Lear’s song of the Owl and the Pussy Cat that it doesn’t even seem strange to imagine that two such disparate creatures should venture out to sea in a pea-green boat (or, as my granddaughter would have it, a Green Peace boat – and maybe she was right) taking with them honey, money and a guitar; that is, food, finance and music, sustenance for body and soul. Who needs more? What a delightful, loving relationship it is, and fully committed to boot. “Hand in hand on the edge of the sand they danced by the light of the moon.” Bliss.

Then suddenly, as we get older, our adult commonsense takes over and we dismiss this beautiful dream as a nonsense verse. But is it? Perhaps our childhood acceptance of the possibility of the impossible is the right attitude? There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy, Horatio. Owls and cats. What they have in common are eyes that see things differently.

Sometimes we need to get a new perspective on things.  This photo arrived in my mailbox yesterday:

Maybe we can’t twist our necks quite so far as this wise bird, but our view of the world might be a bit different if we could. In the old film ‘Dead Poets Society’, the teacher played by Robin Williams gets his class to stand on their desks and look around, to become aware of what they hadn’t seen before.  If you can just twist your neck a little bit, climb up just a couple of feet, you might possibly recognise that the person who’s driving you crazy is really crying out for help that only you can give. Or that the situation you thought was hopeless isn’t the end of the road but a T-junction.

There’s a subconsciously acknowledged truth in Edward Lear’s song, which probably accounts for its lasting popularity. Sometimes we need to push out our pea-green boat with no obvious goal in sight, and sail away for a year and a day with an apparently incompatible partner. Take adequate provisions for body and soul on board. Keep an open mind, and with mutual respect and admiration it could turn out to be the foundation for a happy and long-lasting relationship. Who knows what lies on the edge of the sand in the land where the Bong Tree grows?

And what about the Pussy Cat in all this? Here she is, also just that little bit different:

Open your mind just a little bit more!

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