Someone lived in a cupboard . Go look in the cupboard . Cupboard , cupboard , cupboard .——unknown
Hey , Diddle ,Diddle ,
the cat in the fiddle ,
Due to previous posts , I have people waiting for the TRUTH .I mentioned Mother Hubbard , and I may have left the impression that I promised my readers the TRUTH . I feel a bit like Pontius Pilate now ,you know , when he said : What is truth ! Wasn’t it Pilate who said that ? Pilate the government man .
Some think that they know it already — or almost . They’ve been reminded by me of Old Mother Hubbard and her odd dog . I mentioned , but said not much about , Mother Goose , too . It all sounds eerily familiar , eh ? Maybe not . Hang on , it’ll all be revealed soon.
I didn’t mention that there is no Mother Goose — never was . She’s a myth . Yeah , made up out of whole cloth once upon a time . Maybe you should sit down for a minute and catch your breath . Your decision .
I once taught at a school called Mother of Good Counsel . Good name for a school , I think . The nickname for the place was Mother Goose .
My history students one year at that school each had formed one of the states of the Union out of dough and I was baking them in the school oven — just enough to harden them . Very low temperature . Very low .
The fire department arrived when the smoke began to billow and someone opened a window or two and black smoke filled the sky . It seems New York decided to burn and smoke a bit . A lot .Someone had left paper on the bottom of the dough ( Max ? ) and someone else hadn’t checked for paper ( Me ? ) . There were never any flames , as far as I know , but the smoke was tremendous . Fire departments don’t mess around with school fires , and they arrived in force .
Principal was sitting next to me when the fire department arrived . We had been listening to the sirens for awhile beforehand , wondering where they might be going , when the little school oven with the dough states drying crossed my mind . Could the states be burning ? Sure , sure they could . ” I could have done this ,” I told her , as we got up to go. Firefighters were already unfettering their hoses .
Fire departments don’t mess around with school fires . There was a small army of them suddenly at the scene . It was great fun for the students , at least , all of whom now watched from their evacuation spots on the yard . I was hoping that the principal , who had grown up in an orange grove , now fondly remembered the black smoke and oily stench of burning smudge pots on her father’s orchard long ago on cold winter nights of her childhood . Somehow , as she stood with the Fire Marshal and pointed in my direction , I knew there were other thoughts roaming around in her mind .
But , hey , you know , everyone makes mistakes .
Was I embarrassed ? Well, a little , of course , since I was the cause of the day’s fiasco. I had my job the next day , though , so it worked itself out . I had clear instructions not to use the school oven for any of my projects or for any reason whatsoever ever again , though , as long as I lived , and that seemed fair enough . .
I had originally interviewed with this principal as we walked the campus . She was a feisty old woman , always on the go . She asked me if she’d be getting a good recommendation from the principal at my previous school . She asked it as if , sure , sure she would . It was , more or less , a rhetorical question .
I said no , no she wouldn’t , and I told her the truth, the whole truth , and nothing but the truth . She was quiet for a few seconds . Considering . Then she said that she admired my honesty . A bad recommendation wouldn’t be a problem , she said , and I was in . She was an excellent judge of character , even if I do say so myself , and I think she’d had an occasional bad recommendation of her own sprinkled here and there too , spicing up her days on earth . .
She urged the prim and proper 8th grade school valedictorian one year to use the nickname Mother Goose in her speech , rather than to use the school name. The shy valedictorian girl somewhat reluctantly went for it , and she got a hugely positive response from the audience . I looked over and saw the old principal smile , satisfied . Mother Goose struck quicker and closer to the hearts of the Mother of Good Counsel community than the usual staunch and proper formality ..
Cross hatch draw the latch
Sit by the fire and spin
Take a cup and drink it up
As ice-boxes have become refrigerators , cupboards have become cabinets . I’ve noticed , as I become older , that the world rolls right along in its clumsy way without consulting me . That’s a good thing , too , overall , because I’m not one for handing out advice . I have enough troubles of my own . And , that’s the truth .
For every evil under the sun
There is a remedy or there is none
If there be one, seek ’til you find it .
If you go to the cupboard to get your dog a bone , or whatever , and you find that the cupboard is bare , then what do you do ? The poor dog has none . Ah , then starts the dance of life !