There was a girl…

I was feeling a bit guilty yesterday after I send a thermos full of hot water as lunch for my son. ( long story).
I took my son for his basketball practice yesterday. I always ensure that I spend some time alone with each of my children. Tuesday is my son’s day to spend time with me. As we walked to the court, we were playing ” there was a girl !!”
I am sure students from private schools in India know what I am talking about.

It is a nonsense rhyme with matching nonsense steps !!!

There was a girl, tall and fair and thin, her hair, her hair, was the colour of delicate ginger.

My sisters and I used to sing it all the time and I taught my kids as soon as they were able to walk.

I am sure when people see my son and I walk in steps and sing the rhyme, they most likely will wonder if I have taken my medicines!! But who cares? All three of my children love to sing the rhyme and follow the steps.

As I mentioned earlier I was feeling a bit guilty, so I decided to go on a ‘ego’ fishing trip..
I asked my son ” What makes you think that I am a good mother?”
He stopped walking, turned, looked at me and grinned..
And my heart started to grow few sizes big in anticipation of all the good things my son will tell me, about me..
And he replied
“Who said you are a good mother?”
My helium balloon went psssssssssssssssst..
But I wasn’t going to give up that easily.
So I pouted my lips, showed a very sad face and told him I am very serious.
He stopped walking again and rubbed his imaginary beard as though he was deep in thoughts..
Few seconds later, he answered..
“Mom, I can answer your question, but we have a problem”
Problem? What problem? How can such a simple question bring forth problems? I looked at my son to see what he is up to..after all I have lived with for 12 years!
He started to run and once he reached a safe distance, he answered
“mom, I can’t answer your question..cause the problem is, you taught me not to lie”
And  yes.. I lost my helium balloon totally, completely and all the other ly’s

7 thoughts on “There was a girl…

  1. totally off the topic Sarah, did your son finish the MITx course ??I am sure he must have passed with flying colors.I joined the course seeing the link on your blog and thoroughly enjoyed it.A long time reader of your blog..Thanks a lot and all the best for your new book.

  2. I was looking for the rest of the poem when I came upon your blog. My daughter came home from school one day and taught me the nonsense rhyme : ” There was, a man , thin and tall and fair; his hair , his hair , was a delicate darling gin-ger. . . . . as we marched together arm in arm . The interesting part was that we had to take one step back when we chanted . . . .” delicate darling ginger ” and continue in strict rhythm . It’s quite an attention puller when more than three do it in unison and until someone makes a mistake and the link breaks with loud giggles and explanations of how and when one had to do the reverse-forward move.

    • Liewellyn : when I was in Manila, I took my friend’s children out for a walk and taught them this rhyme and people were staring at us.. Marching to the steps..

  3. The funny poem brings a nostalgic effect of living in a world of yesteryear, eras bygone. It almost has a fairy tale effect on you when you sing the entire verses. The lyrical drag is an excellent elixir to atone human worries and pull you into a zone of eerie calmness and harmonic joy. All imaginary ramblings of the human mind have led us to such nonsensical rhythms which keeps us afloat in an universe filled with mundane matters. The elderly ones will have an opportunity to live their childhood once more and the young ones to feel the aura of a past which is unknown to them……. There was a girl, a girl, so tall, thin and fair, and fair and fair and her hair, her hair was in the color of delicate ginger…….. unless you try it you cannot feel it…. the chill breeze coming down from the mountains, the last glow of the sun in the dusk and the first sliver of darkness as the sky fills with evening stars…… you see the silhouettes of children running against the grass with the paper lamps lighting up their shades amongst which you can see the dragonflies himming their sweet tunes so they donot get lost. And her hair, and her hair

  4. Reminds me of my school days. What fun it was to chain our arms and song aloud There was a girl— Two steps behind on Ginger n continue. Haha !
    Those were the good old days.

  5. Good I found this blog.
    Reminds me of my school days in a Convent school. We chained our arms reciting “There was a girl” taking steps forward and an abrupt back step at Ginger. Then a giggle Hahaha!
    Those were the days I miss so much now.

  6. Reminds me of my school days. What fun it was to chain our arms and song aloud There was a girl— Two steps behind on Ginger n continue. Haha !
    Those were the good old days.

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