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Mother Goose is a violent old bat

Who knew that Mother Goose was such a violent old bat?
As my daughter gets older, I have been dusting off my childhood
favourites to read to her, so you can imagine my consternation when I
discovered through the unfiltered light of adulthood that Old Mother Goose
nursery rhymes are actually ghastly tales of random violence perpetrated by
a frightening, and sometimes mean-spirited cast of misfits, knaves, and
Where are all the uplifting modern-day nursery rhymes? No wonder I
turned out this bad.
I loved Mother Goose when I was growing up, but all of a sudden, the old
girl just seems demented, just a trifle too medieval for my liking.
Do you remember that postergirl for the birth control pill – the Old
Woman who lived in a shoe? She was the one who beat her kids mercilessly
and fed them broth, and had them live in a architectural horror of a house
built like an old shoe. What kind of sick mind operates like that?
There was that dolt Simple Simon who tried to catch a whale in his
mother’s pail. And of course, the three wise men of Gotham who went to sea
in a bowl, obviously a case of raging Alzheimers there, not to mention, the
obvious homosexual connotations. And remember weird characters like Bobby
Shaftoe? He is the one with the silver buckles on his knee. Pretty Bobby
Shaftoe indeed!
There were all sorts of weird characters in these nursery rhymes.
Remember that big pervert, that night-time flasher, Wee Willie Winkle who
kept running through the town at all hours of the night in his night gown.
Whatever happened to that town’s citizen’s association? Then, there was
Peter, the pumpkin eater, who built his wife a pumpkin shell house to live
in. What a maroon! And then there was that whip-thin gormandizer, Jack
Sprat — an obvious bulimic given his ability to lose weight — and his
morbidly obese wife and their odd eating habits.
Then there are cases of ritual animal abuse and cruelty. There was that
infamous case with the royal cook baking 24 blackbirds live in a pie. How’s
that for deeply weird? And the tale continues, there is, of course a
reprisal, where one of the blackbirds does a fly-by and nips off Her
Majesty’s nose to avenge his dead friends.
And everyone knows of the deliberate negligence of Little Bo Beep which
ended with someone lopping off the tails of all the sheep in her flock.
Even the kids in the nursery rhymes are possible candidates for
psychotherapy. There was the twisted sociopath Little Johnny Green who had
a habit of throwing cats down open wells for his sick amusement. And the
street child, Little Tommy Tucker, who ‘sang for his supper’.
Then there were those twin dolts with the anti-personality disorder,
Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee and Baa Baa Black Sheep with its covert slave
references. Don’t argue, just go look it up!
The charming little ditty, ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ is nice for all intents
and purposes but it messes with your sense of reality with all that
business of cow jumping over moons. And don’t forget all the health risks
involved in rhymes that suggest that eating ‘pease porridge in the pot nine
days old’ can be anything but bad for your health.
There was that freak who scratched out his eyes in a bush, and of course
that old dementia-ridden Old King Cole who had his ‘fiddlers three’ play
songs all day long. I have just one word for the fiddlers three — UNION.
Then there was the kept woman, Curly Locks who spent her days pigging
out on strawberries, sugar and cream — a howling terror for any parent who
has ever read an article on arterial plaque and obesity in kids.
And how can I even laugh at Ms. Muffet who was the subject of
intimidation, and possibly extortion by a large spider?
Remember that horrid story about the poor Lady Bug? She lost all her
children in a fire, except Ann who ‘crept under the pudding pan’ — and
there is no truth to the rumour that she was at a Stone Love dance at the
time of the fire. Can you imagine the horror of reading that particular
rhyme, and explaining the nuances of life and death to my two year-old
And how about that Humpty Dumpty story? Did he or didn’t he commit
suicide? If he were really an egg, what was he doing on a wall? Maybe it
was the King’s henchmen and horses who assassinated him at the behest of
the monarch himself. Somebody should call CSI to solve the case, first to
find out who Humpty Dumpty really was, and if he were a manic-depressive
because of the double-life he was forced to lead.
Somehow, I just don’t buy that line about ‘all the King’s horses and men
could never put Humpty Dumpty together again’; that is just crap. I think
they wanted him dead.
Then again, my friends keep insisting that it’s just me and my dirty little (emphasis on the little) mind. It is not the words, but the base minds that handle them which is the problem. My mind has been so addled with lewd intents, vulgar meaninglessness and the sickness of the world that nothing is innocent anymore. Look at Bugs Bunny, some people love him, I just think he is a stubborn, pugnacious, irreverent cross-dresser…over-sexed little wabbit.
Yep (pause), maybe my friends do have a point. It’s definitely just me.

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