The wise old owl, who works at night,
knows lucky secrets good and bright.
Consult him at the witching hour,
twill bring you joy and wealthy dower.
I love the shadowing on this is a sweet and slightly weird vintage postcard. Why is the owl holding an apple like a Christmas ornament over the burning flame of a jack-o-lantern? And he might want to mind his naughty bits. But what intrigued me the most about this postcard is the term “wealthy dower.” What’s a dower, I thought. A quick jaunt around the web is always enlightening…
Dower, or morning gift, was a legal agreement that arranged financial support for a wife should her husband pass away. The term “morning gift” derives from the Germanic practice of the groom’s officially granting the dower on the morning after the wedding night; making such a settlement was evidence that the marriage had been consummated and the bride had proven to be a virgin.
So, with this definition and an understanding of the sinister nature of Halloween in mind, does this postcard seem to encourage this very young gal to not only find herself a rich mate, but to knock him off in order to collect an early dower? That paring knife is awfully handy. Perhaps it’s the assassination of her future husband that is this girl’s “Hallowe’en Secret.”