Bob Flicker


Would You Read These Rhymes To Your Kids?

(Look to the end for a special ending not for kids.)



Try this one on for size:


There was a man in our town,

       And he was wondrous wise,

He jumped into a bramble-bush,

      And scratched out both his eyes;

And when he saw his eyes were out,

      With all his might and main

He jumped into another bush

       And scratched them in again.


Wondrous wise? Here is a Mother Goose lesson in gross stupidity. Can you imagine some kids deciding to try it out on their own? Let’s move on.


 Be prepared to explain the next one:


Little Tee Wee,

He went to sea

In an open boat;

And while afloat

The little boat bended,

And my story is ended.


Bended? Bended! Are you prepared to add bended to your child’s vocabulary?  And what kind of name is Tee Wee? No inquisitive child of yours is going to let you get away with ending the rhyme with a bended boat. Of course we adults know what happened to Little Tee Wee.



I did not make up this next one:


Intery, mintery, cutery-corn,

Apple seed and apple thorn;

Wire, brier, limber-lock,

Five geese in a flock,

Sit and sing by a spring,

O-u-t, and in again.


I think your child would be better prepared to explain this one to you.


I dedicate this next Other Mother Goose to the National Rifle Association

There was a little man,

And he had a little gun,

And his bullets were made of lead,

lead, lead;

He went to the brook,

And he saw a little duck,

And shot it through the head, head,



You probably didn’t know of the varied talents of Mother Goose. This should make her an honorary member of the National Rifle Association.



As if we didn’t have enough problems with drinking water:


If all the world were apple pie,

    And all the sea were ink,

And all the trees were bread and


What should we have to drink?




So much for those peculiar Mother Goose rhymes. Now I have a special ending that includes a rhyme (not Mother Goose) you probably know and an adult variation of it that I discovered over three quarters of a century ago when I was ten years old. I am quite sure you didn’t know the adult version.


First, the original: 

Hickory Dickory Dock

The mouse ran up the clock

The clock struck one

And down he run

Hickory Dickory Dock



This next version—the 1920’s, “Roaring 20’s”, risqué, adult version of a child’s rhyme from a book of risqué, adult, nursery rhymes—I learned of (secretly) when I was ten years old. The illustrated book was hidden behind another book in my father’s library but I found it and read it (secretly and often).

The “Roaring 20’s” had come and gone, replaced by the Great Depression. My discovery of the adult version of illustrated, nursery rhymes took place sometime in the year 1938. What an amazing discovery for a ten year old!


The book is long gone and forgotten by any living person (I assume) other than myself  as well as all those illustrated (adult) nursery rhymes—including a few from Mother Goose. They are all gone except for one of which has stayed in my memory for these past 78 years. I must admit that the twenty-first century has tamed the adult version (circa 1920’s) of Hickory Dickory Dock. However, I will share it with you and let you judge for yourself:



Hickory Dickory Docking

The mouse ran up her stocking

What he did see...

When he got to her knee...


Shocking! Shocking! Shocking!






Bob Flicker

June 2016


 © robert 2014