Monday, October 26, 2015

Nursery Rhyme Cat Saver

When I was a little girl, our family had an illustrated book of nursery rhymes.  At about the age shown above, I took scissors and cut out the drawing of a cat going down a well, that corresponded to:

Ding, dong, bell,
Pussy’s in the well.
Who put her in?
Little Johnny Flynn.
Who pulled her out?
Little Tommy Stout.
What a naughty boy was that,
To try to drown poor pussy cat,
Who never did him any harm,
But killed all the mice in the farmer's barn.

I recall how my sister yelled and screamed that I'd cut up a page in that book, but all I could do was cry and say I was saving the kitty from drowning!  And to think of all the generations of kids who learned that rhyme, which bespoke of animal cruelty, even if Tommy Stout saved the cat!
This memory has stuck with me through all these years.  I recall being scolded to never again take scissors to a book (something that I haven't done since; heck, I don't even bend the page corners!), but the feeling I had, that I had to save the cat, lingers in my heart even now.   

Funny how things turn out sometimes.


  1. We love that story! It makes perfect sense to us, and how lucky are all the cats who have come your way. :-)

  2. You are so sweet to cut up the page to save the kitty! What a kind-hearted girl you were....and that has never changed :-)

  3. Even then, you wanted to save cats. That's pawsome.

  4. It's interesting how profound an affect things like a nursery rhyme can have on a child (or an adult!) I used to cry during Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer because I thought the Abominable Snowman was going to hurt Rudolph. I couldn't watch the Grinch because I thought he was so cruel to the dog.


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