Florence and Athena



Athena was her pet owl
Curtsy (taught to do)
At other times she pioneered
What nurses need to do



AT THE PARTHENON IN ATHENS, Greece in 1850, a tiny owlet fell from its nest and into the hands of wicked children. The tiny bird was spotted by a young woman who, sure it was about to be tortured to death by the rascals, saved the baby bird. It was the bird’s extreme luck that young woman happened to be none other than Florence Nightingale, the British nurse.

Ms. Nightingale skedaddled off the offending youths and rescued the poor owlet, who she named Athena after the Greek goddess of war and wisdom. True to her nature, the nurse lovingly cared for Athena, hand-feeding her, training her to bow and curtsy, and tucking her safely in the pocket of her apron.


Don Matthews
August 2021



Published by donmatthewspoetry

I just like playing round with words. And having fun

7 thoughts on “Florence and Athena

    1. True yes. When Athena died she couldn’t bear to be without it so had it stuffed by a taxidermist. Now in the Florence Nightingale Museum London. There ya go you can pop in and see little Athena when you’re next down there…….

      Liked by 1 person

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