Intriguing but Absurd

Mothers all over the world lull their babies to sleep by singing or humming pretty lullabies . However there is one lullaby, which might be questionable. It goes like this,

Rock a bye baby
On the treetop
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock
When the bough breaks
The cradle will fall
Down will come baby
Cradle and all

Now, if we analyze, up to the point of “cradle will rock”, everything is going smooth. But immediately after this, the bough breaks. Why? And it is not specified in the rhyme just how the cradle fell. Did it float down gently like a leaf? Not so probable. For a baby, even a young tree is a big tree. So how can we tell? Maybe the poor baby crash-landed and its cradle shattered into a thousand pieces.

I remember this nursery rhyme from when I was very young. The picture alongside the rhyme depicted a baby sleeping peacefully in its rocking cradle on a huge tree. And there was another picture showing the baby sleeping peacefully in its unharmed cradle on the ground with a broken bough lying nearby. I perceived a great discrepancy between what was written and what was portrayed in the illustrations beside it. How could the baby still be sleeping so peacefully after falling from a tree?

Gullible babies, who are lulled into sleep by this innocently cunning lullaby, are exposed to a sense of insecurity. Maybe I am making a mountain of a molehill. Maybe mothers won’t even lull their babies to sleep by singing this lullaby. Or maybe I should stop watching “The Practice” so much. But just think about it, how often many of us are “lullabied” by the tricks of people who use words as tools to fool others?


1 thought on “Intriguing but Absurd”

  1. well if you look into the history of all nursery rhymes u ll find it not too pleasant
    ring of rong of roses is based on a fatal desease thus “all fall down”
    humpty dumpty about a king who fell on the battle field!!!

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