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My dear Noël
Here is another picture of the owl and the pussy cat, after they were married. It is funny to see a bird with hands, but how could he play the guitar without them?
I must tell you about the
Following up on the previous letter, Potter wrote again to Noel Moore about the Owl and the Pussy-Cat, this time with a sequel showing an idyllic portrait of the married couple. The owl sips honey spoon in hand while the cat fishes for dinner. This scene required an explanation: "It is funny to see a bird with hands, but how could he play the guitar without them?" Logical conundrums like this were part of the pleasure she took in the nonsense verse of Edward Lear. In these letters she paid tribute to Lear and perfected the story-telling skills she would employ in her own publications.
Beatrix Potter (1866–1943)
Autograph letter signed, London, to Noel Moore, March 4, 1897
Gift of Colonel David McC. McKell, 1959; MA 2009.10