The Poor Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe
Poor old woman who lived in a shoe - she had so many children she didn't know what to do. Mind you, it was a pretty big shoe..more of a boot really and split level. Nethertheless with all those kids it got very crowded. Nor was she really that old - just prematurely old-looking from the burden of all those dependents.
Sadly, the people in the village resented her because she was a single mother...Why did she have so many children? they asked.
"Hasn't she heard of contraception?" the baker said contemptously.
"I've heard they all have different fathers" replied the candlestick maker snidely.
One day, the butcher's wife, carrying a fat pig, found her crying on a doorstep and asked what was the matter. The woman looked up at her with wet eyes and said weakly;
"I've got so many children...I don't know what to do. All my government aid has stopped because my youngest is now in school and I've had to go and get a job at the frozen pea factory. The kids are running riot and are neglected because I'm not there...five of them are crack addicts already."
"It's your own fault" the butcher's wife replied firmly. "You shouldn't have had all those children"
"Oh I know. I've been very foolish. I shouldn't have listened to Father O'Reilly and relied on the rhythm method...and I believed all those men when they said....well, never mind."
The butcher's wife grunted and averted her eyes.
"But it's not my children's fault I've been stupid" the woman continued..."why should they suffer...?"
Reflecting for a moment, the butcher's wife rubbed her chin and said sombrely, "That's just the way it is" and walked away with her pig.
The old woman (who was really only 32) went home feeling stressed and tired. The children scrambled all over her - squealing and making demands, so she gave them some broth without any bread, then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.
Old Mother Hubbard
Old Mother HUbbard was suffering from neglect. She had no food in the cupboard - not even a bone for the dog. Her ungrateful children were off forging careers in another state and what with the rising costs of fuel, food and services, her pension just didn't stretch far enough.
A proud woman, she went hungry for two days before she finally mustered up the spirit to visit the Salvation Army and plead for a food parcel - and then she only did it because she couldn't bear to watch the suffering in her dog's old brown eyes.
However, the food parcels weren't a long-time solution and it wasn't long before she was hungry again."Oh how I wished I'd had a career and paid into a superannuation scheme" she lamented.
The poor old woman had wanted to be there for her children, but when her husband ran off with an exotic dancer from a neighbouring village she was left without a penny. When her last child went off to college she tried to get a job but there was a recession on. No-one wanted a middle-aged, unskilled woman and she didn't have enough confidence in herself to overcome these obstacles.
"There's no money in motherhood" she was heard to mutter to herself as she snapped the lead on to the collar of her loyal companion and headed out for the Salvation Army again.
Mother Goose had six children and twelve grandchildren. She once had a career as an air hostess, but had to retire early as the airline wasn't too keen on *women of a certain age*.
For a time she looked after her grandchildren while their parents worked and although she didn't have quite the patience for it and found it very tiring - she did it with a good grace. However even her grandchildren grew up and when that happened, she didn't know what to do with herself . So she became a writer.
Her forte was short pithy rhymes for children which she self-published through the internet. She wrote about people she knew, like her friend Mrs Hubbard and that poor woman who lived in the shoe.
While at first she didn't make any money, after a time..quite a long time...years in fact...her work began to catch on. Not that she cared that much about the money, as, owing to some fortuitous real estate investments and careful financial management, the Gooses were quite comfortably off.
Eventually, people starting linking to her quirky little poems and she found her work being twittered about and popping up on various facebook pages. There were even some YouTube clips where people had done cover versions of her rhymes. The whole thing snowballed to such a degree that entrepeneurs paid her large sums of money to fly around the world and give live recitals.
In Switzerland she met a top plastic surgeon who took years of her appearance and now her photographs were much in demand in the tabloid press. They appeared under headlines like World's Sexiest Grandmother and Mother Goose caught in Love Nest. Even though it wasn't true Mr. Goose got quite upset and it caused a serious rift between them.
So she ran of with a young unemployed gander and lived happily ever after (which wasn't very long because she was pretty old) in a pleasant little villa in the South of France.