Humpty Dumpty

Hey kiddies! Hope everyone is doing well this final mad week before Santa’s annual visit. My shopping is done – is yours? Whether you are done or not, take a moment to take solace in the madness in your lives by taking a look at Humpty Dumpty’s sad end. At least he tastes good!

Happy Holidays and feathers, Auntie Goose

Humpty Dumpty_0001


Mother Goose’s version

Other Versions


 Humpty cartoons…




Humpty Dumpty

located in Mesa, Arizona



Humpty made by the Prince’s Drawing School in London


Magazine and Book Covers


Humpty Advertising

There is so much Humpty Dumpty stuff out there, it won’t all fit on this one little blog. You’ll have to go search for yourself!! Now, how ’bout some eggs?

Doctor Foster

Time for another post from Auntie Goose! thought I would share one that you may not have heard of – Doctor Foster! Almost the same rhyme and as always, old MG’s version is after mine! Enjoy the rain!  Love and feathers, A. foster_0001


Mother Goose’s version


Christian version






by Chris Fisher

by Emma Stuart

by Vitalij Sidorovic

Foundation Fun

Cartoon: Doctor Foster (medium) by Kerina Strevens tagged rain,water,shower,wet,ducks,puddle,nursery,rhyme,children

by Kerina Strevens


From CartoonStock

Miscellaneous Item

Doctor Foster  figurine, a Wade Whimsy from Red Rose Tea


From Nursery Rhymes, Lyrics and Origins

The Origins of the words from “Doctor Foster”
The origins and history of the poem “Doctor Foster” are in England, this is made clear with the reference to the English county of Gloucestershire (Doctor Foster went to Gloucester…). This was a warning to children in bygone days, prior to modern roads, that what may appear to be a shallow puddle could in fact be much deeper!

“Doctor Foster” History
The origins of “Doctor Foster” are reputedly lie in English history dating back to the Plantagenet monarchy of the 13th century when King Edward 1 (“Doctor Foster”) was thought to have visited Gloucester and fell from his horse into a large muddy puddle! He is said to have been so humiliated by this experience that he refused to ever visit Gloucester again! King Edward 1 (June 17, 1239 – July 7, 1307) was a powerful man, over six foot tall – hence his nickname of Longshanks.

King Edward I - Longshanks    King Edward I (Longshanks)


From Poems and Prose

This rhyme poked fun at King Edward I, who was made to look a fool on one of his pompous regal trips into the country, when he traveled to Gloucester in the middle of a torrential rain storm.

When he got there, his horse stumbled and the king and the horse wound up in a large muddy puddle. It was a pathetic and humiliating sight.

The townsfolk had to use planks of wood to rescue him and his horse from the very undignified situation.

Edward ranted and raved and swore he would never return to Gloucester.

The people celebrated his fall by singing this verse wherever and whenever they could.

Sunday Funny Page – Holstein the Cat

Today’s funny page is Holstein by Steven Ohlhaber. I stumbled across it through another blogger I follow. I hope you like Holstein as much as I do! I chose the first 3 comics, well, it is the season! The fourth because rescue cats are close to my heart. The last one is because Toby fetches. When he was a kitten he was obsessed with pompoms; now it is balls with bells. Anyway, enjoy the kitty humor!

Holstein the Cat - Kitty Kiss Kiss

Holstein the Cat - Kitty with Care

Everybody needs Kittybody

Higher Power Kitty - Holstein the Cat

And because I’m all about supporting fellow WordPress bloggers, there is also a book available on Amazon (click on the image for the link).


I’ll bet the book is great! I’m planning on getting it after Christmas. When I do, I’ll get Rufus to review it over on Library of Cats!

Enjoy your Sunday!


Baa, Baa, Black Sheep


A.G. here – I must tell you, compared to that cousin of mine, Mother Goose, I am the black sheep of the family. You must be able to tell from my rhymes! Seriously, though, I did try to fit in, but one must be who one is! Anyway, enjoy! Love and Feathers, Auntie Goose

Baa Baa Black Sheep_0001


The good sheep’s version:




Do you remember this TV program? It had nothing to do with wool! Click on the image for a link to info.

Black Sheep Squadron (1976) Poster  

Other Versions of the rhyme:

Various Black Sheep artwork (click on image for source)

Baa, baa, black sheep - Mama Lisa's House of English Nursery Rhymes, Intro Image

Baa Baa Black Sheep - Vintage Dictionary Art Print - Shabby Chic - Book Page Print No. P198



History (Glad you made it all the way down here!)

The Educational reasons for the poem “Baa, baa black sheep” poem
The reason to the words and history to this song were to associate wool and wool products with the animal that produces it, not to mention the sound that a sheep would make! The first grasp of language for a child or baby is to imitate the sounds or noises that animals make – onomatopoeia (words sound like their meaning e.g. baa baa in “Baa, baa black sheep”). In some of the earlier versions of “Baa, baa black sheep” the title is actually given as “Ba, ba black sheep” – it is difficult to spell sounds!

The History and Origins of Baa Baa Black Sheep Nursery Rhyme
The wool industry was critical to the country’s economy from the Middle Ages until the nineteenth century so it is therefore not surprising that it is celebrated in the Baa Baa Black Sheep Nursery Rhyme. An historical connection for this rhyme has been suggested – a political satire said to refer to the Plantagenet King Edward I (the Master) and the the export tax imposed in Britain in 1275 in which the English Customs Statute authorised the king to collect a tax on all exports of wool in every port in the country.
But our further research indicates another possible connection of this Nursery rhyme to English history relating to King Edward II (1307-1327). The best wool in Europe was produced in England but the cloth workers from Flanders, Bruges and Lille were better skilled in the complex finishing trades such as dying and fulling (cleansing, shrinking, and thickening the cloth). King Edward II encouraged Flemmish weavers and cloth dyers to improve the quality of the final English products.

Words and Music
The earliest publication date for the “Baa, baa black sheep” rhyme or poem is dated 1744. Music was first published for “Baa, baa black sheep” was in the early nineteenth century making it into a song for children.


Courtesy: Nursery Rhymes Lyrics and Origins





Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater

I know autumn is over, but pumpkins are always in season in my book! Enjoy my rhyme! Love and feathers, Auntie Goose

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater_0001



Old Mother Goose’s version




Peter, Peter Valentine

Art by P.B. Moss




Cookie Jars

Peter Pumpkin-Eater Cookie Jar

Chewing Gum Ad



National Pumpkin Day



Fixed Nursery Rhymes

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, had a wife but could not keep her! He put her in a pumpkin shell and she’s been missing for like 800 years. Any information you have regarding Mr. Eater, please contact police immediately. 




From Nursery Rhymes, Lyrics and Origins

American origins in “Peter Peter pumpkin eater”
The lyrics of the “Peter Peter pumpkin eater” rhyme (unlike most) originate not in Europe, but in America. This rhyme is has become known to British children only in recent years as for most British children it has only just become clear exactly what a pumpkin is! As it is not indigenous to the British shores the vast majority of the British population have never eaten pumpkin! The American tradition of dressing up for Halloween (and the subsequent use of the pumpkin for making lanterns) together with ‘Trick or Treat’ has only reached our {English} shores a few years ago.

From Wikipedia:

The rhyme is not present in any of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century collections published in Britain. The first surviving version of the rhyme was published in Mother Goose’s Quarto: or Melodies Complete, in Boston, Massachusetts around 1825.  However, a verse collected from Aberdeen, Scotland and published in 1868 had the words:

Peter, my neeper,
Had a wife,
And he couidna’ keep her,
He pat her i’ the wa’,
And lat a’ the mice eat her.

As a result it is possible that the verse was an older one adapted to include pumpkins in America.[1] This verse is also considered to be an older version of the rhyme Eeper Weeper

“Eeper Weeper” or “Heeper Peeper” is a popular English nursery rhyme and skipping song that tells the story of a chimney sweep who kills his second wife and hides her body up a chimney. The rhyme has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 13497.


Eeper Weeper, chimney sweeper,
Had a wife but couldn’t keep her.
Had another, didn’t love her,
Up the chimney he did shove her.


Iona and Peter Opie noted that the rhyme had been used in this form from at least the first decade of the twentieth century. A verse collected from Aberdeen, Scotland and published in 1868 had the words:

Peter, my neeper,
Had a wife,
And he couidna’ keep her,
He pat her i’ the wa’,
And lat a’ the mice eat her.

This may be an older version of “Eeper Neeper” and of “Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater”.

A viewpoint from bubblews

The oldest original lyrics that we have date from Aberdeen in the 19th century. As there are pumpkin versions older than this, it’s obvious that even the Aberdeen one isn’t the first version.

Peter, my neeper,
Had a wife,
And he couidna’ keep her,
He pat her i’ the wa’,
And lat a’ the mice eat her.

Let’s translate that from the Scots. Neeper means neighbour. Wife originally meant woman, not necessarily one’s spouse. He ‘couldn’t’ keep her, put her in the wall and let the mice eat her. Grisly enough for you?

There’s been some attempt to link this with the case of a chimney sweep, who murdered his wife and stashed her body in a chimney. Unfortunately, such a case doesn’t seem to have ever occurred; or should that be ‘thankfully’? That story is therefore a matter of retrospective assumption.

The nursery rhyme is far older than that. It probably dates back to the 13th century, when a woman was famously immured into a wall by Scotland’s most bloody-thirsty neighbour – England.

More to the point, King John fell out with one of his favourites, William de Braose. With the Norman baron exiled, William’s wife Matilda (aka Maud de Braose) turned against her king. She was overheard accusing King John of killing his nephew. The monarch’s temper was already frayed, so he severely over-reacted. He sent troops to seize all of the de Braose estates (including several castles), causing Matilda to flee to Ireland.

She attempted to reach Scotland from Antrim, where the Auld Alliance might see her safely back to her native France. But that’s where King John’s forces caught up with her. Matilda, and her son William, were dragged back across the Irish Sea. On the king’s orders, they were bricked into a room in Corfe Castle, Dorset, wherein they were left to starve to death.

This didn’t go down well anywhere. In England, it was one of the flash-points which led to the Baron’s Revolt and the signing of the Magna Carta. In Wales, Matilda’s revenge at least partially formed, or fed into, the legends of the dread Mallt-y-Nos…. In Scotland, the rebuke was in the poetry.

Peter, incidentally, was synonymous with Catholicism in Scotland, referring to St Peter. In other words, ‘what good Catholic would do such a thing, my neighbour?’ It’s tempting to speculate that the earliest, lost versions said ‘Johnny, my neeper/neighbour’, and Peter only became added after the Scottish Reformation, in order to tie the old religion to heinous acts of cruelty.

But that’s just speculation. None of it helped Matilda and William locked in with the mice, nor the entrapped wife in her pumpkin shell.


Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary…


Auntie Goose here – ready with another nursery rhyme – by now I hope you’ve realized that my rhymes aren’t necessarily for the younger set. After all, grown-ups need a little humor too. But don’t worry – I promise nothing over PG!

Love and feathers, A.G.

Mary Mary Quite Contrary_0001


Vintage Mother Goose





Other Versions





The origins are steeped in history…
The Mary alluded to in this traditional English nursery rhyme is reputed to be Mary Tudor, or Bloody Mary, who was the daughter of King Henry VIII. Queen Mary was a staunch Catholic and the garden referred to is an allusion to graveyards which were increasing in size with those who dared to continue to adhere to the Protestant faith – Protestant martyrs.

Instruments of Torture
The silver bells and cockle shells referred to in the Nursery Rhyme were colloquialisms for instruments of torture. The ‘silver bells’ were thumbscrews which crushed the thumb between two hard surfaces by the tightening of a screw. The ‘cockleshells’ were believed to be instruments of torture which were attached to the genitals.

The “Maids” or Maiden was the original guillotine!The ‘maids’ were a device to behead people called the Maiden. Beheading a victim was fraught with problems!It could take up to 11 blows to actually sever the head, the victim often resisted and had to be chased around the scaffold.

Margaret Pole (1473 – 1541), Countess of Salisbury did not go willingly to her death and had to be chased and hacked at by the Executioner. These problems led to the invention of a mechanical instrument (now known as the guillotine) called the Maiden – shortened to Maids in the Mary Mary Nursery Rhyme. The Maiden had long been in use in England before Lord Morton, regent of Scotland during the minority of James VI, had a copy constructed from the Maiden which had been used in Halifax in Yorkshire. Ironically, Lord Morton fell from favour and was the first to experience the Maiden in Scotland!The “Maids” or Maiden was the original guillotine!

Another form of execution during Mary’s reign was being burnt at the stake – a terrible punishment much used during the Spanish Inquisition. The English hated the Spanish and dreaded the idea of an English Inquisition. The executions during the reign of Bloody Mary were therefore viewed with a greater fear of the Spanish than the executions themselves – it is interesting to note that executions during her reign totaled less than 300 an insignificant amount compared to the executions ordered by her father King Henry VIII which are believed to have numbered tens of thousands.