#23 Rhymes

“Jack be nimble

Jack be quick

Jack jumped over the candlestick.”

(And singed all the hair off his legs.)

As a kid, this last line HAD to be added, giggled over, shouted out with glee. Now, however, with time no longer pertinent, and a wandering mind, there are points to be pondered. Agreed?

  1. Who the heck is Jack? the one that went up the hill with Jill? We know he took a bad bump. Hmmmm…
  2. Why did Jack have to be quick to jump over a candlestick? Was it moving? Taller than him? A flame throwing candle?
  3. Well, we know he made it over. Is this like a participation trophy where you get recognized for jumping over a candlestick? Did he sign up for this? Was he recruited? Did he have to try out to be able to do it?
  4. The last line added by kids who twist rhymes around–If Jack’s legs were hairy enough to singe the hair off them by jumping a candlestick, how old was Jack? Where was the glory in this feat? Was he a swimmer and needed the hair gone anyway and to burn it off was easier than shaving it? It would be funny to see, admittedly, but did it just burn the hair off and not burn his skin?
  5. Finally, who was watching to write this rhyme? And WHY?

See where the mind can go? Anybody know who should be given credit for this perplexing rhyme taught to children from the time they can be verbal? Thank the heavens it wasn’t “Peter Piper picked a pack of pickled peppers…” That one really boggles the mind!

This evening I’ll take on “Little Boy Blue.” That one has some real depth. Wish me luck!

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