The owl and the pussy cat

The nursery rhyme of Edward Lear teils about an owl and a pussy cat, who go to sea in a beautiful pea green boat. They take some honey and plenty of money.

The honey underlines the sweet feelings they nurse for each other. They decide to marry and they sail for one year and one day to an island. There they buy the ring of a pig. And after that a turkey on a hill joins them in matrimony

Not very exciting for an adult collector. Is it ?? However. In ancient cultures - Egypt, Greece, Palestina, Arabia, India - honey plays a part in human relations:

  • the "honey flowing teacher" (doctor mellifluus) in Greece and West Europian catholocism;
  • honey in the marriage dowry in Egypt;
  • honey mixed with coco to heighten the potency in Arabia;
  • honey to clean the body "before the oldest movement in de world" in India
In these recent days we find it back in the swect wishes on Rosh Hasjana in Israel. And of course in "Honey, are you willing to go on honeymoon with me?" These last romantic words are the starting point for Edward Lear in his absurd nursery rhyme. Lear ridicules the goody-goody, modern love stories.

by Jan de Crom  
taken from "The Postal Bee" 1/1999 
Contact Group Bee Philately

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