Posted by: namesconnie | November 5, 2011

Nursery Rhymes and Fear



Connie Webb

When I read those cute little nursery rhymes to my children, I never thought I would associate them with fear. But here it is years later, and I have started to think about some fears I have that just may have stemmed from common nursery rhymes that were read to me as a child.

I wonder if I would have ever been scared of spiders if it were not for Little Miss Muffet. Or would I have been so scared of my mother in my big family growing up if I didn’t hear of the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe spanking her children all soundly and putting them to bed. I was almost sure that there would come a time when all five of us were going to have to line up for our spankings and go to bed without any dinner.

I do remember my three year old son saying he couldn’t go to sleep one night because he thought that Wee Willie Winkie would soon be running upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown so he was waiting to catch a glimpse of him. I told him it was just a story, but he said, “Well, it could happen. Someone could run all over town in their nightgown, couldn’t they?” I assured him that we had the policemen to protect us from any such nonsense, but I was still not quite sure if he believed me or I believed myself.

I am scared of walking over bridges. I have no idea why, but could “London Bridge is Falling Down” have something to do with it?

And no wonder I feared my four brothers since they were made of snails and puppy dogs tails and not made of sugar and spice and everything nice like me.

If the farmer’s wife was no match for three blind mice and she had to cut off their tails, what match would I be against a mouse? No wonder I have mouse phobia today.

I suppose the reason for my fear of my first kiss was all because of that Georgie Porgie character. I thought for sure boys made girls cry when they kissed them.

And that ghastly poem “Good Night Sleep Tight” with the sickly version having a reference to certain bugs biting surely didn’t make for any good sleeping by me either.

This all just shows me how powerful words really are. So when you look up to the moon tonight, think about what words you are using or reading out loud to children. And don’t mind your thought of a cow jumping over the moon while you are thinking of these things either, it is just only natural to have that thought drift in if you were raised with nursery rhymes. But if you do happen to see a dish running away with a spoon, you just may want to get yourself some help.



  1. This is so cute 🙂 I remember reading to my daughter and wondering about some of the nursery rhymes 😉 She loved the “cow jumped over the moon” I did have to explain that would never be something she’d see. LOL

  2. This is very entertaining to read. Wow! I’m impressed by the way you capture your readers’ attention from beginning to end. I definitely enjoy reading your work without even noticing how lengthy the writing is. You are definitely a winner 🙂

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