School Lead nursery pic
Nursery rhymes provide opportunities to be creative and fun Image Credit: Shutterstock

Do children learn nursery rhymes anymore? I have no idea, but I doubt if they can find the time for it with all of the gimmicks and games they watch nowadays on their tablets and iPads.

Will this generation be forever scarred as I was by the thought of three blind mice running around as they were chased by an elderly woman with a carving knife who was intent on cutting off their tails?

I have a feeling that the politically correct brigade will be up in arms about the psychological damage a parent would inflict on their young guardian while gloating at the three visually impaired rodents trying to run from a farmer’s wife.

I think that there would be a hue and cry and a demand for counselling to insure there was no long-term psychological damage inflicted on children from the mere thought of being pursued by such a maniac.

And would the farmer’s wife not be a victim of some sort of abuse from rural living and facing mice infestations? And the animal rights people too would be painting their protest signs right now. Mice are people too, they might say.

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What would be said now about the old woman who lived in a shoe, having so many children she didn’t know what to do? Would children services be called in?

Would she not qualify for all sorts of social benefits and payments? And would they not get free school meals if they lived in England anyway? And what about the father? Where is he? Why isn’t he there to ensure that he was living up to his paternal responsibilities?

Can you imagine just how public health officials would react if they actually did find out that four and twenty blackbirds were baked in a pie — and when the pie was open the birds began to sing: “Wasn’t that a dainty dish to lay before the king?”

I mean, one of the first rules that aspiring chefs are told in culinary school the world over is that poultry has to be cooked until at least 72 degrees Celsius or until the juices run clear. Maybe that’s why the farmer’s wife carries a knife to check the temperature of her blackbird pies?

Jack and Jill’s ordeal

Who would actually make Jack and Jill go up the hill to fetch a pail of water nowadays anyway? We’re mostly all blessed to live in homes with running water — even the old woman who lived in the shoe presumably had water on tap even if she didn’t know what to do with all her children.

Then social services would certainly get involved. As it is, they’d be investigating how come Jack fell down and broke his crown, and how come Jill came tumbling after.

Is it really right to make fun nowadays of Humpty Dumpty who sat on a wall? Humpty Dumpty did, after all, have a great fall. It’s not his fault he is clinically obese.

But then again, what was he doing climbing up the wall in the first place. That’s clearly a danger that wasn’t highlighted by the health and safety committee. He was never the same after that fall, you know. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty back together again.

Besides, what parent in their right mind would call their child Humpty Dumpty now? Can you image the looks you’d get simply trying to register the name with officialdom.

And poor little Miss Muffet who sat on her tuffet eating her curds and whey. Along came a spider ... Do we really have to make fun at such a severe case of arachnophobia?