When granddad came to stay with us (I think it was in June),
he helped my daddy with some chores and sat by me at noon.
He'd sit and rock on our front porch while I sat on the ground.
He found a stick he could whittle. He didn't make a sound.
He listened, though. I told him how I didn't like some friends.
"She bothers me," I'd say with spite. My rantings didn't end.
"Now hold on," Grandpa said one day. He stopped his rocker quick.
If you will choose a different route, this habit you can kick."
"When I was your age," he began, "I had a friend - Ollie.
His family's home was in a tree...a giant oak, you see."
"Wait, gramps!" I said in disbelief. Sawdust fell from his towel.
He brushed it off and then replied, "It's true! He was an owl."
I listened as my granddad spoke about this feathered friend
and his friend's grandpa, what a hoot! An OWL (was this pretend)?
Though Ollie's gramps was no spring chick and long of beak, it's true.
He'd had lots and lots of birthdays and seen a thing or two.
When he was young, atop his perch he used to speak his mind.
Said all the things he wanted to; sometimes it wasn't kind.
One time he talked 'til he turned blue! And then it became clear.
He found that when you talk and talk, it makes it hard to hear.
In fact, you can't hear what folks say, and most times that's not good.
So, he began to listen more, and then, he understood.
More wisdom comes from listening than anything you say.
You learn a lot and understand another's views and ways.
And from then on, that grandpa owl decided to change course.
The things he said grew less and less; he watched a whole lot more.
Then Ollie came along. By then, his gramps was old and wise.
"Carefully choose the things you say. Use more your ears and eyes."
I learned that day to hold my tongue. Gramps taught me a new way.
"Try list'ning more and talking less about your friend. Okay?"
I try and practice every day. You see, the wise owl knew!
Grandpa heard it once from Ollie, and now you've heard it, too.
If folks would listen more than speak,
there’d be more smiles on every beak!
A wise old owl lived in an oak,
The more he saw, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
Now, wasn't he a wise old bird?
A Wise Old Owl poem above originated in the USA, though its exact origin is unknown. Wikipedia notes it probably dates back to the 19th century. It was first mentioned by John D. Rockefeller at the beginning of the 20th century.
Much further back, Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom, chose an owl as her favored companion to sit on her blind side so she could see the whole truth. Many attribute the owl's wisdom to keen night vision and heightened senses.