Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nursery Rhyme Time with 3 Blind Mice



'Peace' in the *Burmese language

*also known as Myanmar

'Burma's Defenders'
3 Burmese monks praying by Platon for Human Rights Watch

Welcome to my new Burmese readers!
For those of you who don't know,
Burma is the correct name of the country
that the news insists on calling 'Myanmar'.
It isn't.
It is Burma.
Myanmar is the name that guerrillas have called the country
that they have violently overthrown the government.
The UN recognizes the country of 'Burma'.
It does not recognize any country named 'Myanmar'.
The people call themselves 'Burmese'.

For more information,
google 'Aung San Suu Kyi'

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Oh, and just a quick comment here -
We should ask ourselves why the news media
newspaper, TV, radio, etc.
have been calling a country with such a rich, long history
by a name that violent guerrillas have given it,
instead of what the country is actually named.

It would be like calling Egypt
instead of 'Egypt'.

or should we say
'the country formerly known as Holland'
instead of
The Netherlands?

In case you haven't noticed,
an impartial news coverage is currently non-existent.
News publications and live 'news' have an agenda.
Just make sure it is your agenda, before you believe
everything you see written
everything you hear on the 'news'.

clip from

Okay, okay, I'm off my give-a-speech pedestal!!!

On to Three Blind Mice!!

This is usually the first song students learn to play
on new musical instruments in the United States!

a limited edition print

So, what does the simple rhyme mean, if anything?
I mean, blinded mice...
mice chasing a woman...
a woman chopping off mouse tails...

an 1889 illustration of the nursery rhyme

Gathered from


here's what I found:

The 'wife' in the verse may be Mary I, the daughter of King Henry VIII of England
and  Catherine of Aragon, his first wife.

Queen Mary I of England

Mary had a hard life, what with her father King Henry VIII naming her the successor to the throne, then declaring her illegitimate, then putting her back in the succession,
refusing to let her see her mother the last 5 years of Catherine's life,
being a devout Catholic in a country that was 'Church of England' territory...
and many, many unnamed injustices and slights she had to endure.

This led to her being, shall we say, grouchy?

Mary I's nickname was 'Bloody Mary'.
She was very determined to bring England back to being
a Catholic country.
That meant being a Protestant, including Church of England,
was a big no-no.
So big in fact that if you were found to be Protestant
it was 'off-with-your-head' time.

an ebay listing by 77maddog

It is also considered a clue that Mary I and her husband King Philip II of Spain
owned large estates - thus she was a 'farmer's wife'.

From a 1911 'Our Old Nursery Rhymes' book;
illustration by H. Willebeck LeMair, arranged by Alfred Moffat.

The 'Three Blind Mice' in the rhyme may refer to
Bishop Hugh Latimer
Bishop Nicholas Ridley
Archbishop of Cantebury Thomas Cranmer.

Three Blind Mice ACEO Mouse Art by

All three of these reforming churchmen were Anglicans
and preached Protestant theology -
which is in direct contrast to many Catholic tenets.

Bishop Hugh Latimer found at

Bishop Nicholas Ridley found at

The three churchmen were convicted of plotting against the Queen.
Keep in mind Mary I was Catholic
and Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer were Protestant.

found on - cindy4752 photostream

Bishop Latimer and Bishop Ridley were burned at the stake,
with Archbishop Cranmer forced to watch.
Cranmer was kept alive for other purposes....

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, artist may be Holbein.

3 blind mice figurines -

...that would be the
 'let's torture him until he confesses to something we want him to confess to'.
A popular theme in Middle Ages history.

1917 illustration by Margaret Evans Price

Later (think torture), after watching his colleagues burn at the stake,
Archbishop Cranmer recanted
and repudiated (that means 'I didn't mean what I said')
Protestant theology. He rejoined the Catholic faith.
Still, Queen Mary I refused to release him from the death penalty.

On the day he was to be burned at the stake,
he made a dramatic announcement before the crowds -
who had gathered for the 'fun' of watching him burn -

He withdrew his recantation!
That means, he said 'I didn't really mean it when I said
I gave up the Protestant beliefs,
and became a Catholic.'
BIG doggy doo-doo on the face of the Catholic accusers.

Also a strong testament to the fact
that torture can make someone say anything.
Take note, US military creeps, that think torture
is an okay thing to do to prisoners.
Think Guantanamo Bay. Think Iraq.
A disgrace and a slap in the face to all true Americans.
oops, step off my soapbox again!

illustration by Charles Folkard

So, let's recap:
The three blind mice were 3 Protestant churchmen (Latimer, Ridley & Cranmer).
Blind because they were not Catholic.

They ran after the farmer's wife, (Queen Mary I of England) -
'a plot to kill the queen' is the reason given.

The farmer's wife (the Queen) chops off their tails.
Or in the matter of history, burns them to death.

Such a gruesome little nursery rhyme!!

a closeup of James Christensen's Three Blind Mice

But then, Grimm's Fairy Tales were really gruesome!
I am currently re-reading them, in the original form.
Verrrry interesting!
Definitely not the Disney style of fairy tales!

We do tend to make things like nursery rhymes and fairy tales cute -
and how cute are 3 Blind Mice!

costumes for toddlers

That has to be one of my favorites!!

Here is a grown-up version:

and that is my second favorit-est!
I just love it when people get creative with their costumes.
No pre-made Wonder Woman costume for me, no sir!
But then, of course, I'm not really Wonder Woman size either.
No amount of costume cleverness could disguise that...

Here is a fun scherensnitte pattern from an out of print BackStreet Design:

and here is my cutting:

cutting by inkspired, background by Dover books

Let's make some Chocolate 'Church' Mice!!
This recipe/directions are from FamilyFunMagazine, inkspired version:

You're going to need:

>1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
>1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening
>48 dried apricots
>wooden skewers
>48 M&M Minis
>Black shoestring licorice
>24 dry-roasted peanut halves

How to:
1.  Place chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl.
        Microwave on high for 1 minute.
2.  Stir, and microwave for 1 minute more.
3.  Stir again, until smooth.
 For each mouse:
Press together 2 dried apricots and squish to make a small point
for the mouse's nose.
Thread them onto wooden skewers.

Dip them into the melted chocolate/shortening,
and place on a waxed-paper lined baking sheet.

Use a second skewer to push the mouse off the first skewer.
Use your fingertip to smoosh the chocolate to cover the hole left by the skewer.

Add M&M minis for eyes,
shoestring licorice for tails
and broken peanut halfs or quarters for ears.

Refrigerate until hardened.
Makes 24

Now is that cute or what??!!

If you don't know, Family Fun Magazine sends out e-mails with lots of super fun activities for all age groups. I don't currently have any small children
but I still find fun things to do and make there.

Did you know?
The Three Stooges used '3 Blind Mice' as one of 'their' songs?

stained glass at

Did you know?
Jazz Artist Art Blakey has an album by the name '3 Blind Mice'?

Did you know?
There is a movie named 'Three Blind Mice' that starred
Loretta Young and Joel McCrea,
along with many other stars like David Niven and Jane Darwell?

So, after all,
3 blind mice can be pretty entertaining!

I wish I knew where to give credit for this charming sketch.
It appears to be a 'rough' for a cartoon.
If you know who to credit, please let me know!

Well, I hear laundry calling,
and the dirty kitchen floor crunching,
and Tanner is chasing me out of the office with
Time to close!
See you soon,

Big Dog Tanner, trying to fit in a little space...
Note the HUGE bottom with HUGE capacities for gas...

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