The shadow of a former self is a dark place. This reporter realized this depressing fact as he went on a mission to explore what had become of the fallen childhood heroes. It all started when I bumped into Mr Dumpty at a party, old and wrinkled now, he has never been able to recover from that fateful moment when gravity got the better of him. I asked him whether the media campaign to revive his name had any basis to it, whether he was in fact, pushed. He said it didn’t matter and walked away to the bar, but obviously, all the queens brandy and all the czars vodka have failed to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
He’s tried to change his identity, to find a normal life, to convince people that he’s more than just someone who fell of a wall but the world has a surprisingly permanent memory when it comes to embarrassing moments. For some these moments fail to die even within their own mind. Little Miss Muffet for example has been haunted by a pathological fear of spiders all through her life. Now institutionalized by her family, she mumbles to herself in her padded cell and screams throughout the night. Her caretakers wonder if her state would ever had deteriorated to this extent without the catchy verse that immortalized that incident in the park.
Another epic immortalized fall comes to mind. This reporter tried his best to trace down Jack and Jill but failed. No one knows whether Jack survived the head injury, what is known is that they both were sent their separate ways. All this reporter hopes is that they now live in modern cities with taps and showers.
There were as many sad stories as there were rhymes, the little blue boy has never been given respectful employment because he feel asleep once, as a child, tending to sheep. No one has asked why he was tending to sheep at that tender age, or what happened the night before that left him drowsy the next day. These are all things that must never be put into funny verse.
Perhaps, these are things that nobody even wants to hear about. Which is why, during the course of researching this article, I decided to never publish it. Then I received a letter signed ‘George’ asking me to come meet him. The address led me, strangely enough, to a sheep farm where I was met by this gray haired lady called Mary. George met me a few minutes later. He confirmed my suspicions that Mary was indeed the one whose lamb had followed her to school. They had met after George had spent years as a bachelor and a loner because no girl would give him a chance and no boy would ever let him hear the end of it.
He convinced me that the world needs to read this. The world needs to stop laughing and pointing fingers. They were all children who have had to step out of nursery rhymes into the real world. They have suffered greatly so children could be amused by their name which is why George has now filed for royalties on behalf of him and others like him. The case is still pending in courts with a baffled defense desperately trying to buy time. “Words have a strange power” he says “yet we must believe that we as people have greater power than them”. His loving wife does not cry when she is kissed and he says he never ran away from any boys. All he wants now, apart from millions of dollars in settlement, is for someone to explain what the pudding and the pie were all about.
I get another call, from Miss Muffets institution. She passed away mysteriously, perfectly sane and lucid in her last day alive. Her last wish was the her tombstone not read “Little Miss Muffet”.
Here’s hoping they win the case.