The Owl and the Pussy-Cat Went Into Space

Updated on March 11, 2020
Jodah profile image

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books.

The Owl and the Pussycat Went Into Space, original art by John Hansen, 2020
The Owl and the Pussycat Went Into Space, original art by John Hansen, 2020 | Source

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!"

— Edward Lear -
The Owl and the Pussycat: Image by Prawny from Pixabay
The Owl and the Pussycat: Image by Prawny from Pixabay | Source

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat Background

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat is a nonsense poem by Edward Lear, first published in 1871 in his book "Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany, and Alphabets.” Lear wrote the poem for Janet Symonds, the three-year-old daughter of his friend and fellow poet John Addington Symonds and his wife Catherine.

Edward Lear was an English artist, illustrator, author and poet, and musician most famous for his nonsense poetry and prose and especially his limericks, a form he popularised. He is also known for his songs, short stories, botanical drawings, recipes and alphabets. He also composed and published twelve musical settings of Tennyson's poetry.

Portions of an unfinished sequel, "The Children of the Owl and the Pussy-cat" were published first posthumously during 1938. But, I have decided to write my own series of sequels collectively titled "The New Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-Cat" and bring them up to modern times. I couldn't find a suitable picture of them in space so I had to draw one myself.

In my anthology "Poems From the Porch 12,” I wrote the first sequel called The Owl and the Pussy-Cat Get Married, which continues on from their wedding at the end of the original poem. If you haven't read that already you may like to go and check it out before reading this one.


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay | Source

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat Went to Space

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat circled the Moon,

In a space-shuttle made of tin cans.

They ended their ride, on the Moon’s dark side,

And were met by a little Moon man.

He giggled with glee, as he offered them tea

In his crater beside a large hill.

They sat and they chatted, about things that mattered,

To the Pussy-Cat this was a thrill.

A thrill,

A thrill,

To the Pussy-Cat that was a thrill.


The Moon man eyed Pussy with a quizzical look,

“One question may I ask you soon?

Hey diddle diddle, did you play the fiddle

So a cow could jump over my Moon?”

Pussy just laughed, and the Owl simply barfed

At a question they didn’t expect.

“Well, we did tour our land, with a cow and her band,

She is someone that we both respect.”

Respect,

Respect,

She is someone that we both respect.”


Vintage Fairy Tale Images, Public Domain
Vintage Fairy Tale Images, Public Domain | Source

“I expect if she tried, she could jump that high,

Her hind legs are powerful and strong.

If she did jump the Moon, then the dish and the spoon

Ran away, ‘cause they thought it was wrong.

They haven’t been seen, and I think it was mean,

That the little dog laughed at their plight.”

The Owl said no more, but opened the door,

“We can’t miss the next shuttle flight.

Shuttle flight,

Shuttle flight,

We can’t miss the next shuttle flight.”


The shuttle sped off, where next would it stop?

Oh, the lovely red planet called Mars.

It was a quick flight, twice the speed of light,

Through The Milky Way dotted with stars.

Soon they touched down, on the cold dusty ground,

On a planet named after a god.

“Well, we did make it here,” said the Owl with a cheer,

And Pussy agreed with a nod,

With a nod,

With a nod,

And Pussy agreed with a nod.


The Owl and the Pussy-Cat walked wing in hand

With a full picnic basket of food,

They found a good place, near the famous Mars face,

Where they ate, then lay down for a snooze.

A voice said, “Tup tup!” and woke the pair up,

‘Twas a Martian with his eight legged pet.

“Please don’t be afraid, of my pet Octopade,

He has not eaten anyone yet.

Yet,

Yet,

He has not eaten anyone yet.”


They made an excuse of having to leave,

And back to the shuttle they went,

A spidery dog, or an eight legged frog

Was not their idea of a pet.

Then off the ship raced, back out into space,

As they set the direction for Earth.

“That was quite a trek,” said the Owl with a peck,

And the Pussy-Cat kissed him in mirth,

In mirth,

In mirth,

The Pussy-Cat kissed him in mirth.

There was an old man with a beard, Edward Lear
There was an old man with a beard, Edward Lear | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 John Hansen

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      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 days ago from Queensland Australia

        I am glad you enjoyed this poem, Diana. Thank you so much for that generous comment.

      • profile image

        dianadee 

        4 days ago

        Love your poem. So easy to read and it really flows off the page. Well done,John.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you so much Nithya.

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 

        2 weeks ago from Dubai

        I enjoyed reading your poem, your illustration is excellent. Great work, double thumbs up.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Hello Rinita. I appreciate your comment about the drawing. I just used coloured pencils in fact. Crayons may have been better if I had them. Glad you enjoyed the poem too.

      • Senoritaa profile image

        Rinita Sen 

        3 weeks ago

        Your drawing is lovely. Didn't know you could draw so well, too. Vivid and lively, apt for children. Did you use crayon?

        I haven't checked out the other poem yet, but this one is too cute.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Fam. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read this and leave a generous comment. Glad you enjoyed it.

      • Syeda Sardar Fatima profile image

        Fam 

        3 weeks ago

        It's a beautiful poem Hansen, i enjoyed and loved your art work too. Great job.

      • profile image

        Fam 

        3 weeks ago

        I've got delighted to read it. I appreciate your creativity and art work too. Great job!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Jason, thanks for the generous comment. Glad you liked the drawing too. Cheers.

      • Nicoartz profile image

        Jason Nicolosi 

        3 weeks ago from AZ

        Hi, John I really love this. It was really wonderful. A very good read. Your picture was very cute. The drawing was excellent too. Great stuff.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Li-Jen. It is an interesting project to continue the story and put the Owl and the Pussycat in different scenarios but keeping the structure of the original poem.

      • Li-Jen Hew profile image

        Li-Jen Hew 

        3 weeks ago

        Hi Jodah, cool to see you write a new series ""The New Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-Cat". I'm sure you make children's dreams come true by continuing the sequel. Creative of you to write about the Owl and the Pussy-Cat in space! You managed to create a poem that does not lose the touch of the original piece, with the new characters in it. Thanks for sharing!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you MsDora. There is no better way to end than in mirth haha.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Delightful read! I liked the format, having the repetition at the end of each verse. Glad that the trip ended in mirth.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you so much for your encouraging comment, RoadMonkey. Glad you enjoyed this.

      • RoadMonkey profile image

        RoadMonkey 

        3 weeks ago

        I loved the original owl and the pussy cat and your up to date version continues it in the same vein. Great.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        It's good to know these are two of your favourite characters, Lora. I will be writing more adventures so stay tuned. I was amazed how multi-talented Edward Lear was also. His nature art especially birds, and his landscape paintings are wonderful, and he was also a fine musician.

      • Lora Hollings profile image

        Lora Hollings 

        4 weeks ago

        A wonderful trip into the world of imagination with such fun verse and two of my favorite characters! I loved your poem and I didn't know that Edward Lear was so versatile and talented. I thoroughly enjoyed your article. The illustration was very charming too.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Good to see you Marie. Thank you for that generous comment on both the poem and illustration. It means a lot.

      • Marie Flint profile image

        Marie Flint 

        4 weeks ago from Tawas City, Michigan USA

        I just had to read this because the title sounded so fun, and I am quite happy with my choice!

        I love your illustration and the very cleverly written poem. The repetitive lines really enhance the rhythm. I wouldn't change a thing.

        Blessings!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Gave, thanks for reading this little buddy. Sorry if it was confusing to you in parts. I’ll take that into accounts when I write future Owl and the Pussycat poems. Glad you liked that bit about him not having eaten anyone yet. I hoped people would find that funny. Come back again.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Liz, thank you for reading and enjoying. I went to great length to keep the pattern and rhyme scheme true to the original poem.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        What can I say MizB? Being compared to Shel Silverstein and Ray (Call Me the Streak) Stevens humbles me. I really hope that you get to read these to your great granddaughter as I hoped these poems would appeal to both adults and children. maybe I’ll have even more published by the time you see her. Thank you for digging my drawing as well. Thank you.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James MizBejabbers 

        4 weeks ago from Beautiful South

        I just finished your first delight, and now I've come back to this one. I just love these and I hope you continue your poetry of the owl and the pussycat. You rank right up there with Shel Silverstein and Ray Stevens in my book. I thought of my little great granddaughter in Texas and how much I would like to read these to her. Maybe I'll get the chance the next time I visit. P.S. I really dig your art, my friend.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        4 weeks ago from UK

        This is a great development of the original rhyme whilst still keeping to the same pattern. This was a favourite in our household. It's good to read an updated version.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        4 weeks ago from london

        Chuckle. Nice title!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Manatita, bro, i greatly appreciate your comment. It is such a pity you lost “The Galaxy World” and others somewhere in the UK. I like writing about space in my poetry too, as I have previously done with my piece “A Space Shanty” and its sequel. Aha, now I know you were “the Moon man” the Owl and the Pussycat met haha.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Haha Brenda. My imagination scares me at times. I guess that is a good thing for a writer though, isn’t it? There will be more of these to come.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Tiyasha. Thank you for reading this poem. I really enjoy writing nonsense verse, but you are right that it isn’t always easy to get right. I m glad this one worked out.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Great to see you Shauna. No, I haven’t illustrated any children’s books. Sketching is just a hobby for me. I am glad you liked my drawing though and enjoyed the poem.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Indeed, Devika. The sky is the limit. There will be more of these poems to come. Glad you enjoyed.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Haha Ruby, I can’t imagine the Owl and the Pussycat as a rap song but now that you said that i must admit i did look at including a rap version of “What’s New Pussycat” at the end of this.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        4 weeks ago from london

        A no-nonsense- beautiful piece, Bro. With true imaginative flair. This man was a genius!

        When I was about 18, I wrote a prose piece, called The Galaxy World, which many folks back home loved. I lost it in the UK along with some truly great pieces. They nicknamed me 'moon man', after that piece.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Linda, nonsense poetry and limericks are the type of writing I enjoy the most. I am glad it brightened up your day.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        I love starting people’s day off well Bill. I always value your opinion on my work. Thank you.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Pamela, I had fun writing this poem. I am glad it worked out and that you enjoyed reading it. Thanks.

      • Brenda Arledge profile image

        BRENDA ARLEDGE 

        4 weeks ago from Washington Court House

        John,

        You must have one vivid imagination.

        I applaud your skills to develop such a poem.

        Looking forward to seeing their new adventures come to life.

        Thanks for the share.

      • Cattaleya profile image

        Tiyasha Maitra 

        4 weeks ago from Gurgaon

        Oh a lovely piece. A beautifully written poem. It's quite a difficult task to create good nonsense verses. You have done an amazing job.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        4 weeks ago from Central Florida

        John, this is so much fun! I'd love to see this continue.

        Have you illustrated any children's books? If not, you should. The drawing at the top of the page is amazing!

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        4 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        Hi John sky is the limit and no doubt you show that here.A great imagination you have so much enjoyed the read.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

        John, this read like a rap song. I loved it! I hope you will start a series of this delightful pair. Rap Rap Rap

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        4 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

        John, your imagination is boundless and your illustration is precious. This is the first thing I've read this morning, and what a great way to begin an otherwise dreary day. This was absolutely delightful.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        So damned clever, John! I am seriously jealous of your talent. This was a fun read, the perfect read to begin my day with.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Pamela. I like to have a bit of fun with my writing now and then. It is a bonus if it makes others happy or at least smile.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        4 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

        I really like your picture and this adorable poem. It is so cute and very clever. I had to laugh with the owl and pussycat walked 'wing in hand". You did a great job with this poem, John.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Eric, I hope you have fun reading this with Gabe. Lear is here this Leap Year.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Bushra. I really appreciate your kind comment. Thank you.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Of course Gabe and I will read together. But it occurred to me that you celebrated Lear here or hear. Noble

      • Bushra Iqbal profile image

        Aishatu Ali 

        4 weeks ago from Rabwah, Pakistan

        I love the original poem and yours is excellent, too. Had great fun reading it. Thank you!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Lorna. I have always been a fan of Edward Lear, so yes, the original poem too. I am happy that you like this as much and also my drawing. Much appreciated.

      • Lorna Lamon profile image

        Lorna Lamon 

        4 weeks ago

        A wonderful poem John and another great adventure for the couple. I have always been a fan of the original poem and this one is just as entertaining. Cute drawing.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Aww Flourish, thank you so much. I was pretty happy with how it turned out. Cheers.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 weeks ago from USA

        Absolutely fabulous! You have really done it here. The cadence and humor are perfect.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for being the first to read this Rosina. I am so happy that you enjoyed the poem and that Edward Lear's quote gave you a smile. Cheers.

      • surovi99 profile image

        Rosina S Khan 

        4 weeks ago

        You have outdone it again, John. A humorous pair, the owl and pussy cat- the poem about them is delightful and pleasant. What more, Edward Lears's quote at the end made me smile big. Thank you for such a splendid hub.

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