This really tickled my funny-bone.
I have seen versions of the three wise monkeys for years but never really thought how they originated. Apparently they date back to 17th Century Japanese carvings. The three are Mizaru (see no evil) covering his eyes, Kikazaru (hear no evil) covering his ears, and Iwazaru (speak no evil) covering his mouth. Sometimes there is a fourth monkey, Shizaru (do no evil) crossing his arms, but as in the cartoon above, he seems to have taken up blogging!
Here is a poem I found online.
Three small monkeys on my table
Each as good as he is able,
Not to see or hear or say
Things unpleasant through the day.
One with hands across his eyes,
Careful that he never spies,
Does not see the faults of others,
Neither playmates nor his brother.
One with fingers in his ears
That he's sure he never lies,
Now the third with fingertips
Gently placed upon the lips,
That he may not speak unkind
Thoughts that enter his mind,
Now without the fingertips
Pressing closely on the lips,
He should guard the tongue as well,
And be cautious what we tell.
May the conscience be our guide
Telling what to see or hide;
Let us learn without delay
What to see or hear or say.
The Three wise Monkeys
I wonder what pearls of wisdom this wise monkey is teaching its little one.
(photo taken at Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Virginia - November 2013)
Our blogging friend Adam from "Neko Random" which you can find here, gave me some additional information. His comment read, "Zaru is actually the Japanese word for monkey (though the proper noun is Saru), and their names are literally seemonkey, hearmonkey and saymonkey." Very interesting, thanks Adam!