Most children have been read or taught many of the traditional Mother Goose stories and rhymes. As we get older, we opt for longer and more complicated tales. We read chapter books and modern poetry that is considered more ‘grownup’ than the limericks of Mother Goose. In spite of the wisdom of many years, there are times when I miss those Mother Goose stories.
- Memorable – Decades down the road, when you have children and grandchildren of your own, you can still remember most of those Mother Goose stories. We eagerly teach them to each new generation.
- Rhyme – They were not just stories, they were rhyming poetry. They had a sing-song rhythm to the syllables and rhyming words at the end of each line. This is one of the main reasons that we find them so easy to recall.
- Short – This, too, was part of their appeal. The rhymes were short, often only one to three short verses, many times. Yet, contained with in those short lines was also a complete story, beginning, middle and end.
- Visual – The fanciful little rhymes stirred the imagination with images of giant eggs sitting on walls, a cow jumping over a moon and an old woman living inside of a shoe.
- Simple – The rhymes were about simple things: a little girl and her lamb, a shepherd boy who fell asleep, a flower garden. Some of the stories behind their writing show their double meanings, but for children, then and now, they are simple little stories.
- Children – Children represent the innocence of young life, all the best of mankind, and the Mother Goose stories are filled with little children: Jack and Jill, Mary with her lamb, my son John, Miss Muffet and many others.
- Silliness – The rhymes are filled with silliness that makes children, and adults, smile and laugh: Peter’s wife being kept inside of a pumpkin shell, sticking your thumb into a pie and pulling out a plumb, Wee Willie Winkie running through the town in his nightgown.
- Timeless – Even though many of the rhymes date themselves to the time and culture when they were written, their enjoyment remains timeless. Little children don’t care whether they understand them or not, they are fun to learn and fun to say. (By the way, what IS curds and whey?)
- Common knowledge – One of the neat things about the Mother Goose stories was the fact that everyone knew them. You could mention one of the characters or a line from one of the tales and everyone would know exactly what you were talking about. There isn’t much else you can say that about today.
- Nostalgia – The Mother Goose stories remind me of the simplicity of childhood that can, and should, be there. No worries about jobs or paying the bills. No worries about what to eat or not to eat. All those things were taken care of by the ‘grownups’. And grownups know everything, right?
Pease porridge hot – Pease porridge cold – Pease porridge in the pot – Nine days old.
Some like it hot – Some like it cold – Some like it in the pot – Nine days old!
(Really? Nine days old?)Taken From Babysitting Jobs