The Owlet and the Gamekeeper

A little fluffy owlet, short and fat,
Upon the topknot of a fir-tree sat;
He thought of baby rabbits and of mice,
He thought of human beings once or twice.
It can be said and said without demur,
He was a most profound philosopher.

A keeper passed, a sturdy realist;
He raised his gun and aimed; and fired; and missed.

And so, my dearest pillicocks, we see
Two kinds of creatures on this earth there be;
One thinks and dreams and idles in the sun,
The other Works and Acts and Gets Things Done.

Without the Keeper we’d be in a mess,
We should not miss the owl; yet none the less
The keeper missed him. Oftener than not
The man of action’s such a rotten shot.

– R. P. Lister

A huge thanks to Nigel Mace who submitted this poem on the message board. Posted in memory of Nigel’s friend John (Richard) Clarke who introduced Nigel to Lister’s poetry.


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