The truth about nonsense

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Have often quoted Plato, who said “Unmitigated seriousness is always out of place in human affairs.” I am a believer, so for maybe 20 years I’ve played around with the idea of a poetic nonsense children’s book where-in I’ve written “fun fun” poems about wild animals with fitting photos. Eureka! With nagging and encouragement of my two daughters, the deed is done. The “Yum Yoodle Snook – Wild Beasty Book” is now being printed back in Minnesota for release this summer through me and Far County Press.

Readers know, this is not my fist adventure with literary nonsense and as a reminder, here’s a sample from 27 years ago, 1991:

They are at it night and day, those easy weeper nerds who want to change all out old Aesop Fables, fairy tales and nursery rhymes. This questionable activity made its first intrusion into our lives in the early ‘50s, when permissiveness began in handling children and, eventually, criminals. The idea is to prevent mental scarring in kids by completely insulating them from the facts of life.

Dr. Herman Kantor is one who wants to make the world better by denying the existence of hurt and tragedy. The good doctor has rewritten things so that Humpty Dumpty gets patched up, Mother Hubbard finds some biscuits for her poor dog and he even created positive domestic intervention in order to upgrade the loose life style of the Old Lady who lived in a shoe.

If you would like to spare your little children the sad stuff in the originals, Dr. Kantor’s latest book is called “Mother Goose & More.” In there, Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater has found a house for his wife and Jack Sprat put on a few pounds and his wife is on a sensible diet.

Dr. Lee Salk, nationally noted child psychologist, does not agree with people like Dr. Kantor. He is quoted as saying, “In reality, there are times when endings are not happy. These original stories help children deal with the problems at the fantasy level and that helps them deal with problems at the reality level.” I’m with Dr. Salk. However, I can see where those people like Kantor probably may get some pleasure changing children’s historic literature, so I’ll try to modernize a few.

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick,

But never jump over a candlestick.

You could set fire to all your attire,

Scorch ankles and knees and higher.

Jack and Jill went up the hill, to fetch a pail of water.

Jack was slapped down for messing around,

Because Jill knew what he was after.

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey.

Along came a spider, and sat down beside her,

So she grabbed some spray and blew him away.

Rock-a-bye baby, in the tree top.

When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.

When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall.

Down will come mama, for child neglect ‘etal.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,

Put him in an omelet and ate him at ten.

Mistress Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockleshells and a weed that really sells.

I have to go for now. There are some nice men here with a butterfly net.

G. George Ostrom is an award winning columnist from Kalispell.

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