Thursday, 29 March 2012

The fish ran away with the spoon (Τρα λα λα)

The children recently told me that their English teacher taught them some English nursery rhymes.

"We learnt Yankee Doodle," my son said.

"We learnt Hey Diddle Diddle," my daughter said.

My children have the same English teacher at school, but they are in different class groups, so the teacher is obviously presenting different material to maintain the distinction in the levels. 

"Great!" I said, full of glee, on hearing that my kids had learnt something I was taught at school, albeit at a younger age. "So who's going to tell me their nursery rhyme first?" My daughter started:
"Hey diddle, diddle,the cat and the fiddle, the girl jumped over the moon..."
Beg your pardon, I thought.
"... the little boy laughed to see such fun, and the fish ran away with the spoon."
"Are you sure it was fish, dear?" I asked, hesitantly, not wanting to offend either her (for not paying attention) or her teacher (for the obvious mistakes). I felt a little like an internet search engine: "Did you mean: the dish ran away with the spoon?"

"No, it's definitely fish, mum," she said confidently. "Dishes don't have legs."

When things don't make so much sense to you, you can give up trying to understand them, or you can try to make some sense out of them: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. At least Yankee Doodle went to town in the same way I knew him: riding on a pony with a feather in his hat; he called it Macaroni.

I cannot help but feel endeared to this new version of 'Hey diddle diddle'; it is just another classic case of Greeks trying to make sense of the chaos that surrounds them, which they seem to have plenty of.

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