Goosey, goosey, gander, whither shall I wander,
Up stairs, and down stairs, and in my lady’s chamber.
There I met an old man, who would not say his prayers,
I took him by his left leg, and threw him down the stairs.
The narrator of this rhyme is symbolic of millions of people over the millennia, several “good Christians” I know, and probably of someone each of my readers knows. The Crusades, the Holocaust, Protestants vs. Catholics in the Ireland, Palestine vs. Israel, Muslims vs. Hindus in India, persecution of the Baha’i, persecution of the religious in the Soviet Union, Islamic terrorism, Tibet, the Spanish Inquisition, the Tamil Tigers, the Khmer Rouge, Scientologists…the list goes on and on. Religion equals violence. Mother Goose knew. Her lack of condemnation is disturbing.
Verdict: Preach this from your atheistic pulpit as a warning.
It’s widely understood that Aesop’s fables had a lesson to impart to the reader. It’s less commonly known, but no less true, that the original Grimm’s fairy tales contained a lot of violence and sexual content that was inappropriate for children. But what about Mother Goose? Were the colorfully illustrated nursery rhymes in your Little Golden Book really so innocent? Were they carefully curated to be only about silliness and pat-a-cake? Let’s explore the reality together in this year’s Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.