"Mr. Wise (ret)" © wood engraving (ed. 35) image: 6 x 4 in. $90.00 (go to "Hi There" for purchase information)

This is one of those nursery rhymes I would categorize as wacko (if I was to categorize them). Adults would see this as a crazy little rhyme that describes a crazy fantasy situation where everything is put right in the end. My first thought, when I read this (it was never read to me while I was a nursery resident), was of a story my mother told me. A childhood friend of hers, who was playing with a piece of wire, put his eye out and became blind in one eye. And he remained blind in that eye the rest of his life. That story and this nursery rhyme would have had me wondering.

 

THE MAN IN OUR TOWN

There was a man in our town,

And he was wondrous wise.

He jumped into a bramble bush,

And scratched out both his eyes;

But when he saw his eyes were out,

With all his might and main,

He jumped into another bush,

And scratched 'em in again.

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