Here is what happened today. I was at the Food Co-op after my workout, wondering whether to get a bowl of soup or a half-sandwich for lunch. In a conversation with the young checkout man, he mentioned that a regular customer complains almost daily about the soups being too spicy. I told him they are perfect for me, and said off-handedly, "Well, you know the poem about Jack Sprat." I walked off to enjoy my sandwich.
A few minutes later, Chris (the young man) came over to my table and asked if I knew the rest of the poem. I told him what I remembered: "Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean. And so, betwixt the two of them, they licked the platter clean." He smiled and said that his remembrances of childhood nursery rhymes was skewed by having grown up with the Space Child's Mother Goose, and he knew many of the poems by heart. He gave me a piece of paper with one of them printed on it (in his handwriting):
Probable Possible, my black hen
She lays eggs in the relative when
She never lays eggs in the positive now
She couldn't manage to postulate how
So of course as soon as I got home (thinking I have to find out more about this children's book), I googled it and found that it was around at the time when I was a young girl. Where was I that I never learned about it until today? Oh, right: I was a girl and was not expected to know anything about scientific matters as a youngster. Instead, I was given cookbooks and primed to be a wife and mother, not a scientist! What was I thinking?
Oh, how much has changed these days. And not all of it is negative. If you have heard of this book, or better yet, given it to one of your daughters to read, I'd love to hear about it.