Rock-a-Bye #SoCS 7/1/2023 Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

Openverse – MattBritt00

When I was a kid and still in the literal thinking stage, this nursery rhyme really bothered me.

Rock-a-bye baby
on the treetop.
When the wind blows,
the cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks,
the cradle will fall.
And down will come baby,
cradle and all.

I had questions and issues with this nursery rhyme.

  • Why is a baby in a cradle in the top of a tree?
  • What kind of mean nasty person puts a baby in a cradle up in a tree?
  • Who put the baby in the tree?
  • OF COURSE the cradle will rock when it’s balanced on a tree branch in the wind.
  • OF COURSE the baby, cradle and all will fall when the bough breaks.
  • Just how long do you leave a baby up in the tree while waiting for a sufficiently strong wind to break the bough and drop baby, cradle and all? Or
  • Do you wait until the wind is bending the branches and THEN you climb up and deposit baby and cradle?
  • Does anyone catch the baby and cradle?

When I was much older and understood things at an abstract level, I figured out this nursery rhyme, like all nursery rhymes, were metaphorical. Rock-a-bye baby made a little more sense then. 

The message:

There’s a price to pay when you get too big for your britches, and your ambition is to climb high at the expense of others, your happy little world (cradle) will eventually come crashing down around you.

Linda hosts Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

Until next time,
Kaye Spencer
Lasterday Stories
writing through history one romance upon a time





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