Every single stile is crooked to me, even this one on the Coastal Walk in Dunmore East, because of the nursery rhyme we all grew up with here:
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
It never dawned on me until today that nursery rhymes have origins other than those big coloured books that are part of baby and toddlerhood.
When I went looking for the exact words of the rhyme, I discovered that there are layers and layers of ‘adult’ history and stories behind it.
I mean who would have thought that the ‘crooked stile’ in the nursery rhyme may relate back to political affairs between England and Scotland in the 17th Century and be a metaphor for the border between these two parts of the United Kingdom?
So now I’m wondering if nursery rhymes vary greatly across the globe and, of course, I’m also intrigued to know which nursery rhymes play over and over in your mind and down your generations.