Ding dong bell, Pussy’s in the well

Happy Saturday, kiddies! finally, the end of February is here – here’s hoping March is a far sight better that February was! Here’s a rhyme to start off the all-too-short weekend right! Love and Feathers, Auntie Goose

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Mother Goose version





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“Ding Dong Bell” a poem with a moral theme
The origins of this nursery rhyme date back to the 16th century and the era of Shakespeare who used the phrase “Ding Dong Bell” in several plays. The original lyrics of “Ding Dong Bell” actually ended with the cat being left to drown! These words were modified and the cat was saved by ‘Little Tommy Stout’ to encourage children to understand that it was unacceptable and cruel to harm any animal ‘who ne’er did any harm’. The latter version taught morality at an early age. “Ding Dong Bell” also introduces a child to onomatopoeia (a word that sounds like its meaning) In this nursery rhyme the lyrics and words “ding dong” when pronounced convey the actual sounds!

The Shakespeare Connection!
The phrase ” Ding Dong Bell” was used by William Shakespeare – but given the original drafts of Shakespeare plays were in Quarto text and the majority were not published until 1623 in the First Folio (7 years after his death) could the phrase actually be the writer’s original instructions for sound effects?

Nursery Rhymes Lyrics and Origins

The man in the wilderness

Hello kiddies! I’m late this week posting – sorry ’bout that – too busy digging out of that awful white stuff that falls from the sky. Anyway, this rhyme is a little more obscure than some of the other ones but no less fun.  Enjoy and stay warm!  Love and feathers, Auntie Gooseman in wilderness_0001


Original version



by Nicholas Beckett

by Arnold Lobel

Grandma’s Nursery Rhymes

red herrings

by Nick Wonham

A Man in the Wilderness Strawberry Party Game

A Man in the Wilderness Strawberry Party Game is played in a group format. To begin, spilt the party guests into equal numbered teams in a circle seated. The first player in each team is given a large strawberry. Each player is given a toothpick he or she must hold on to. On go, the player pierces the strawberry and passes it to the player. That player pierces the strawberry and does the same to his or her teammate. The first team to pass the strawberry around to the original player, wins. If a strawberry is dropped on the floor, players must pick it up quickly and resume play. For smaller groups of teams, have the players pass the strawberry in the circle 5-10 times before declaring a winning team.



We have placed this Nursery Rhyme, The man in the wilderness , in our category ‘Lost Lyrics of an Old Nursery Rhyme’. Can you help us identify the the place of origin or history of this lesser known children’s nursery rhyme?This rhyme can be found in The Only True Mother Goose Melodies (c. 1833); The Nursery Rhyme Book, edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897); The Little Mother Goose (1912), illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith.

Nursery Rhymes Lyrics and Origins

Sitting in the window

Sabina Ayne:

Originally posted on The View Through My Aquamarine Eyes and reblogged on Orange Marmalade Press because Louise Bunting over at The Storyteller’s Abode mentioned both blogs.

Originally posted on The View Through My Aquamarine Eyes:

piper windo

Sitting in the window
And what do I see?
A big, fat, juicy crow
Looking right back at me.

“On you shall I dine,”
Said I to the crow outside.
“On this body so fine?”
Said the crow as away he did fly.

I have been nominated by The Storyteller’s Abode to participate in a 5 Day – 5 Black and White photo challenge/5 day photo-story challenge. I am including a short rhyme with the photo. (Please check out The Storyteller’s Abode – the author is very talented in words and photos!)

Here are the rules for the 5-day – 5 black and white photo challenge: 1) post a black and white photo daily for 5 days. 2) Invite someone different to participate each day.

Here are the rules for the 5-day photo- story challenge: 1)post a photo every day for 5 days; 2) write a story or paragraph or poem…

View original 57 more words

Sing a song of sixpence

Good morning kiddies! I’m hijacking the Sunday Funny Page again with one of my rhymes. Enjoy this one and keep all those redbirds away from your breakfast! Stay tuned all the way to the bottom of the post – Sabina wants to show you the opening page of her new story, title TBD but it is a new Simon and Toby adventure. The last one she did took 10 months for her to finish; this one is just as long, so who knows how long we’ll have to wait for her to finish!  Have a great Sunday!  Love and feathers, Auntie Goose.24 blackbirds_0001

Mother Goose version


Many illustrations, so many to choose from

Check out this website where a university student shows off his school project and illustrates this rhyme.

by Rose Frith


by Suumin Birks

by Maxfield Parrish

Some of the many books!



Toys and such



Vintage Ad



From Food of the Tudors website:

To make Pies that the Birds may be alive in them, and flie out when it is cut up.
From Epulario, 1598 (Olde English)

Make the coffin of a great pie or pastry, in the bottome thereof make a hole as big as your fist, or bigger if you will, let the sides of the coffin bee somewhat higher then ordinary pies, which done put it full of flower and bake it, and being baked, open the hole in the bottome, and take out the flower. Then having a pie of the bigness of the hole in the bottome of the coffin aforesaid, you shal put it into the coffin, withall put into the said coffin round about the aforesaid pie as many small live birds as the empty coffin will hold, besides the pie aforesaid. And this is to be done at such time as you send the pie to the table, and set before the guests: where uncovering or cutting up the lid of the great pie, all the birds will flie out, which is to delight and pleasure shew to the company. And because they shall not bee altogether mocked, you shall cut open the small pie, and in this sort you may make many others, the like you may do with a tart.


Action words to the poem ” Sing a song of sixpence” Rhyme with some history!
Lovely words to this children’s action nursery rhyme which is often referred to as blackbirds baked in a pie probably because the image that blackbirds baked in a pie would create in a child’s mind. The rye (a pocketful of rye) was purchased to feed birds. Blackbirds, and other song birds, were actually eaten as a delicacy! However a court jester may well have suggested to the court cook to bake a pie pastry crust and place this over some live blackbirds to surprise and amuse the King! It would not be unreasonable for the blackbirds to look for revenge hence “When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!” It is interesting to note that the references to the counting house and eating honey were the common man’s perception of what a King and Queen spent their time doing. The nursery rhyme Sing a song of sixpence or blackbirds baked in a pie always end with the tweaking of a child’s nose!

Views of the Sceptics
The connection between this Rhyme was made by James Leasor in 1961 in his non-fiction book’ The Plague and the Fire. Some people are sceptical of the plague interpretations of this rhyme, many stating that words in the rhyme cannot be found in Middle English. The sceptics must be referring to the later version of the rhyme, possibly with American origins, the English version is “Ring a ring o’ rosies” using the Middle English “o” as a shortening of the word “of”. The written word ” posies” is first mentioned in a poem called ‘Prothalamion or A Spousal Verse’ by Edmund Spenser (1552-1599. We believe that this addresses the views of the sceptics.

Nursery Rhyme & History


And now, a teaser for the new Simon and Toby adventure!

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Pease Porridge Hot

Hey Kiddies! Since some of you out there are hot-ish (okay, maybe warm) and the rest of us unlucky souls are cold (freezing), here’s a rhyme about hot and cold. Enjoy!  Love and Feathers, Auntie Goose.

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Mother Goose version

Another Version










Vintage Ads for Peas




Pease pudding hot – the origins of the words are based on a traditional British dish
The pease pudding hot referred to in the words of this poem is a dish which is still enjoyed in Britain today. It is a smooth, thick sauce, (referred to as a pudding in the rhyme for the sake of alliteration) which has a dark yellow colour. Pease pudding is a hot dish made from dried peas – it can be re-heated as often as required (Pease pudding in the pot – nine days old). Pease pudding is traditionally served hot with boiled bacon or a form of sausage called a saveloy.

Nursery Rhymes Lyrics and Origins

Wee Willie Winkie

Hello kiddies, I hope everyone had a great weekend and planted big smooches on the one’s you love on Valentine’s Day! To start the new week, here’s a rhyme about someone who likes to peep in windows! Love and feathers, Auntie Goosewee willie winkie_0001

Mother Goose Version

Other Versions





 Wee Willie Winkie on Xmas Eve by LindaAppleArt

 Wee Willie Winkie by Salley Mavor

 Wee Willie Winkie wall art by John Worsley







The explanation of the words to Wee Willie Winkie was to teach children to associate every day tasks with their own lives. Before the days of the wireless, television and the Internet great reliance was put upon the Town Crier to pass on the latest news and information. ‘Wee Willie Winkie’ was the children’s version of the Town Crier! The author of the poem was William Miller (1810 – 1872) and the first publication date of the words to Wee Willie Winkie was in 1841. Nursery Rhymes Lyrics and Origins


17 Things Worth Knowing About Your Cat

I originally read this on Purr and Roar - it comes from The Oatmeal whose comics I still like inspite of him (them?) creating a game about exploding kittens (sorry – no link, it’s too gross; you’ll just have to look for it yourself).

Auntie Goose will be back tomorrow with a new nursery rhyme!