Learning from nursery rhymes

Published 12:00 pm Sunday, October 22, 2023

I may be out of the loop, but I sometimes wonder about nursery rhymes and if they are still a part of children’s books. My mother loved books and taught me to love them. I still remember a large book of nursery rhymes that was in the “stack” that I enjoyed. The poem about the little turtle who lived in a little box hasn’t escaped my memory. The illustrations on that page have stuck with me.

Some of those nursery rhymes made more laughter than sense. Or did they? Perhaps they are of allegorical nature for the present times. On one creased page there was a familiar verse and tune:

“London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down . . .”

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There’s a heap of things “falling” in our world. The structures that God implemented in the Ten Commandments were mankind’s means of living life to its fullest, but only if they were obeyed.

“There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile

Bought a crooked cat, she caught a crooked mouse,

And they all lived together in a little crooked house.”

What a whimsical verse, but in a world of corruption that we see partially exposed on every day’s news, it’s a sad commentary on our times.

“Sing a song of sixpence, a pocketful of rye,

Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.”

There it is — the answer to soaring grocery prices — blackbird pie! Why hadn’t I already thought of that?

“Lucy Locket lost her pocket, Kitty Fisher found it,

Nothing in it, nothing in it, But the bounding round it.”

With the growing support of inflation, the Lucy Locket society is growing!

“Hush-a-bye baby, on a tree top, when the wind blows the cradle will rock.

When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall. Down will come baby, cradle and all.”

This has the sound of the stock market and its sensitive pulse that rises and falls.

“Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush.”

What a perfect rhyme for our Republican congress members who are going round and round to select a leader that pleases everyone. When will the spinning stop?

“Oh dear, what can the matter be? Oh dear, what can the matter be?

Oh dear, what can the matter be? Johnny’s so long at the fair.”

Open borders remain as a top priority — so we are told, but what can the matter be that no one can implement a plan or suggestion to close them that will be at least attempted?

“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey.

Along came a spider and sat down beside her and frightened Miss Muffet away.”

Didn’t Miss Muffet know she was much bigger than the spider? Why didn’t she just step on it? Our nation seems to have its share of Miss Muffets — alias the silent majority. Don’t we know our strength from God makes us mightier than the few who make the most noise? Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how God would move in His might and power if we weren’t so intimidated with man’s threats of litigation and scare tactics?

“Mary had a little lamb. Its fleece was white as snow.”

Amazing! Mary DID have a little Lamb, and He has come with amazing power and purpose:

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” That story is not found among nursery rhymes but in the Bible — and it’s an eternal truth for all ages.

Letters to Camille Anding may be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602.