How Mother Goose Traumatized Me As A Kid

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
While some of the children's poems weren't that scarey; they insulted my intelligence, even at age five. Little Jack Horner; Georgie Porgie, and the ever populate Little Boy Blue for example.
A few made me wonder...and some were just plain lame.

However, some of these fairey tales and stories created shocking images in my little head that left me sleepless some nights.

Submitted: July 08, 2013

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Submitted: July 08, 2013



Hmmmm….hanky  panky?

Jack and Jill went up the hill

to fetch a pail of water?

I’m pretty sure the law of gravity says that water flows down hill; even as a kid I knew that much.

So I think maybe Jack and Jill went up that hill for some other reason…just sayin’.


What about : Jack be nimble, Jack be quick; Jack jumped over the candle stick.

In another nursery rhyme, the cow jumped over the moon…so am I impressed this kid jumps over a candle stick?  Not so much.  Yeah, a real athlete that kid was. Let’s turn jumping over a candle stick into an event for the next Olympic Games. Now a cow jumping over the moon….that’s impressive!

Although I must admit, the plate running away with the spoon was totally unbelievable.

Here’s one where Child Protective Services should have stepped in:

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe; (A shoe...really? I'm not buying this story.)

Had so many children she didn’t know what to do.  (I could have told her what to stop doin'.)

She gave them some broth, without any bread (Well that just isn't right.)

Whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.  (OMG! child abuse in a kid 's poem?)

Whipped them?  I couldn’t even give my own kids a smack on their bums without the cops showing up. I want to know...who's the baby-daddy to all those kids? Just askin'.


Then there is the Lullabye: Rock-a-bye baby

Rock-a-bye baby in the tree top;

When the wind blows the cradle will rock.

If the bough breaks the cradle will fall;

Down will come baby, cradle and all!

This sadistic mother put her baby up in a tree in a wind storm….in its cradle no less!

Then, adding salt to the wound; she makes up a lullaby about it?  (OMFG!)

Another call needed to CPS!!  And we worry about too much violence in movies today?


Is it just me?  Am I the only one who finds some of these children’s stories scary?

Kids; at least me as a kid, took these things literally. What were the grownups thinking?  I have to ask myself if they got some kind of perverted pleasure out of scaring the begeezus out of us!

My parents taught me a prayer to say each night before tucking me into my bed.

“Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake.

I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

Sounds harmless ya say?

 I can remember crawling into my bed a nervous wreck after saying that little bit of verse. Did Mom and Pop know something I didn’t?  Were they expecting me to die during the night?

I wasn’t sure at such a young age what a soul was; but I wasn’t keen on it being taken back then. I mean, I might need it…just sayin’.  I lay awake for hours afraid to go to sleep….I don’t want to die, I kept saying to myself.


Then there was the time my Dad read me, Little Red Riding Hood just before bedtime.That has to be the worst story in human history!

 This beautiful, happy, and helpful little girl was sent out into the woods to her grandma’s house, by her mother; which was a thirty minute walk, by the way.  No surprise…she encounters a wolf along the way to take dear old ailing grandma a basket of goodies. (A basket of goodies the kid’s mother was too lazy to take herself.)  Two cars sittin’ in the driveway and she sends Red out on foot? What did she think would happen....duh?

So the wolf asked little Red where she is going and she tells him; because she is a naive and trusting little tike who shouldn’t have been alone in the woods to begin with. She practically drew him a map to grandma’s house! 

The wolf runs ahead, tricks sick old grandma into letting him in and then proceeds to eat her alive!  I can still hear the screams in my head today!

Little Red is skipping happily through the wood in route to her final destiny; picking flowers and singing la-la-la-la-la. 

The villainess wolf puts on grannies’ blood soaked night gown and bonnet and lies in the bed waiting for Little Red to arrive with her basket of goodies. (By this time I am praying Little Red will not show up.) I am traumatized enough by the death of dear old grandma!

But no…. poor little Red taps on the door and says, “Grandma, it’s me, your precious Little Red Riding Hood. I brought you some fresh baked goodies to make you feel better.”

Now the wolf makes himself sound like grandma with a cold, “Come right in sweetie-pie; I’m so ready of a good snack!”  (I shudder, thinking to myself…no, don’t go in!)

But of course she goes right on in.  She sees the wolf all covered in the bed and wonders why grandma seems different somehow. (Come on Red, you’ve seen granny a million times before…this ain’t HER!)

Then comes the comments…what big eyes, what large ears, big teeth…yadda, yadda ,yadda.

"The better to see you with...the better to hear you with...the better to EAT you with!"

I cringe, and slide deep into my bed waiting for the inevitable to happen. (RUN LITTLE RED...RUN NOW!)

The wolf jumps out of grandma’s bed and gobbles the sweet little girl up!  (OMG!! Little Red....sob, and cover face.)

(I blame the kid’s mother; lazy heffer!)

Ok sure, supposedly a woodsman comes by and cuts the wolf open and pulls little Red and her grannie out and saves them. Come on folks, I was no dummy back then...ya can't pull them out of the wolf's belly like that. Don't try to soften the blow of what happened.  They were chewed to bits by that wolf! How dumb did they think I was?

I’m left with the savage and disgusting image in my little kid brain forever, and now I’m supposed to go to sleep….with the light out…and the door shut?

My dad gives me a kiss on the forehead and tells me to “have sweet dreams…oh and don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

“To hell with the bed bugs; make sure that damn wolf doesn’t come round tonight while I’m sleeping!!”

(Ok, I didn’t actually say that to my dad; but the words were fully formed in my head at that moment.)

I suffered similar traumas when hearing about poor Humpty Dumpty and how he shattered into a million pieces after falling off the wall. I screamed every time mom cracked an egg to make breakfast for years!

 I cried when Old Mother Hubbard went to her cupboard to get her doggie a bone and there was no bone there. What happened to that poor doggie? Did he languish for days and days before dying of starvation? They never tell you those things. 

The same scenario happens in This Little Piggy. One has roast beef and the other has none…and one even cries wee, wee, wee; all the way home! Why wasn’t the roast beef shared? And why did the little piggy cry all the way home? Did his sow of a mother send him into the woods to deliver a basket of goodies to his grandmother? Did he have to run for his life from a wolf? That oinker of a mother should have been locked up!

Little Miss Muffet…scared by a spider!  Really, she couldn’t just eat her curds and whey in peace? I'm very afraid of spiders today because of that stupid little rhyme!  I never sit on my tuffet either!

Even the Three Little Piggies were terrorized by the big bad wolf…. Just sayin’.  Huffing and puffing all over the place!

I hated those darn nursery rhymes and fairy tales!  Grimm’s Fairy Tales; what kind of name is that for a book of children’s stories?  Mother Goose sounds safe, but don't count on it kids.

Well, I’m a writer now, and I can tell you in my kiddy stories, no one gets eaten alive, or falls off a wall; and for sure no dog will go hungry!  Kids who live in a shoe will be taken and placed in a home where they get more than broth for supper and absolutely won’t be whipped and put to bed!

I might still send Jack and Jill up the hill, but it wouldn’t be to fetch water….just sayin’.  But then that one wouldn’t make it into my children’s stories….hehe.

© Copyright 2017 Ava Rosien. All rights reserved.

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