It was a bright sunny morning
When the Owl presented his theory
To the academic committee.
A group of distinguished scientists,
Chaired by the Fox, examined
Carefully the thick portfolio.
The eminent scientists
Read and debated the theory
With immense interest.
They discussed it
And analyzed it thoroughly.
And they all agreed
That it was new and significant.
However, their long deliberation
Ended with the summation
That the supporting evidence
Was not strong enough
For an indubitable conclusion
That the theory was correct.
Obviously, the Owl felt
Very disappointed at this outcome.
But he was not easily discouraged.
So he went back to garner
more supporting evidence.
And thus, some time later,
When another committee of experts
Reexamined the theory
They found that it was indeed correct.
Yet eventually, they decided
To dismiss it, too,
Stating that the theory
Was not really significant.
The Owl of course again felt
Deeply disappointed at this result.
Nevertheless, persistent as he was,
He continued his efforts to show
That his theory had many uses
And wide applicability.
But it was
A long and uphill struggle.
Years trickled down
Until, on a rainy day,
The Owl was able to submit
His revised theory.
The experts analyzed it thoroughly
Again and this time they declared
Unanimously that indeed the theory
Was both correct and significant.
They rejected it afresh, because,
As they said, the theory was old.
Naturally, the Owl was shocked
And deeply disappointed
By this unfavorable result.
Then consoling his upset friend,
The Turtle took the Owl to a pub
For a drink.
“You know”, the Owl said,
Holding a glass of foamy beer,
“This whole affair reminds me
A similar story that I read
In de Montaigne”.
“You mean, the skeptic essayist
Whose motto was ‘Que sais-je? ’,
‘What do I know? '”
The Owl nodded.
“Yes, Michel de Montaigne”.
“But he died
More than 400 years ago”,
The Turtle said.
“Well, it just illustrates
That an old story can be new. “
Paul Hartal's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (The Theory by Paul Hartal )
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