The poem by Edward Lear, The Pobble That Had No Toes was the bane of my life when I was 7. I had a teacher hell bent on making us learn it by heart. It felt very tedious having to stand up and recite it. I rebelled by pretending I had forgotten it. On the other hand, The Owl and The Pussy Cat - another poem by Mr Lear, makes me smile every time I hear it. So when I saw this book I had to have it. Aside from the lovely colour of the cover I wanted to learn more about the man behind the nonsense. It turns out he was very shy, severely epileptic and not just a great writer but also a talented drawer and painter. I wish he'd drawn a Pobble, at least I could put a face (if indeed it has one) to my childhood nemesis.
The following from the Edward Lear home page - (http://www.nonsenselit.org/Lear/ns/pussy.html) .
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,
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,
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,
They danced by the light of the moon.