X-Rated Pumpkin Rhyme – Storytelling for Everyone

Most of us at some point in our lives loved hearing and chanting children’s rhymes. Who wouldn’t? They are fun, catchy and somewhat nonsensical. But did you know that many of these seemingly innocent nursery rhymes actually have hidden meanings—and not just ordinary meanings, but terrifying connotations?

Yes, you read that right! Many nursery rhymes that we grew up hearing depict dark themes such as death, mass persecution, murder, bizarre acts, immorality, domestic violence, and so much more.

One of the favorite Mother Goose rhymes at this time of year is:

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater

Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater,
Had a wife and couldn’t keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her very well.


“Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater” is one of those nursery rhymes that seem innocent and nonsensical at first glance, but if you take a closer look, you’ll discover that it has a gruesome hidden message. This nursery rhyme depicts marriage, infidelity, and murder.

It is generally believed that Peter’s beloved wife was a prostitute. Since he could not keep his spouse from having sexual affairs with numerous men, he decided to kill her and hide her body in an absurdly large pumpkin.

Another interpretation is that Peter was a poor man who married an unfaithful women. It seems that his wife keep on cheating Peter who made a plan to “keep her.” He put her in a chastity belt which was the pumpkin shell. (A chastity belt can was metal underwear along with a lock as well as a key.)

There’s another more murderous version of this rhyme that goes like this.

Eeper Weeper, chimbly (chimney) sweeper,
Had a wife but couldn’t keep her.
Had another, didn’t love her,
Up the chimbly he did shove her.

These rhymes suggest that women ought to love and be faithful to their husbands or else they could suffer grave, fatal consequences: They could be murdered by their husbands and then hidden in a pumpkin, shoved in a chimney, or fed to mice.


“Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater” is one of the English nursery rhymes, first published in Britain in the late 18th century or during the early 19th century. In 1825, the rhyme was published in Boston, Massachusetts as Mother Goose’s quarto, otherwise known as the complete melodies.

However, some of the words which were collected from the place called Aberdeen, Scotland published in 1868, had some of the following words, a more gruesome, vivid version.

Peter, my neeper,
Had a wife,
And he couidna’ keep her,
He pat i’ the wa’,
And lat a’ thet mice eat her.


Perhaps it is time to write a new version of this infamous, wife-hating verse. Here’s one possibility:

Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater,
Had a pie and couldn’t eat it;
He put it in a pumpkin shell,
And there he ate it very well.

What’s yours?

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Author adminPosted on September 28, 2020Categories FolktalesTags Mother Goose, Peter, Pumpkin

The Two-Faced God – Storytelling for Everyone

In ancient Roman mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, also of gates, doors, doorways, endings and time. He is usually a two-faced god since he looks to the future and the past. The Romans dedicated the month of January to Janus, his most apparent remnant in modern culture, his namesake, the month of January.

Janus was frequently used to symbolize change and transitions such as the progression of past to future, of one condition to another, of one vision to another, and of one universe to another. Janus was worshipped at the beginnings of the harvest and planting times, as well as marriages, births and other beginnings. He was representative of the middle ground between barbarity and civilization, rural country and urban cities, and youth and adulthood.

According to some, he was the custodian of the universe but, to all Romans, he was the god of the beginnings and the ends, presiding over every entrance and departure, and because every door and passageway looks in two directions, Janus was seen as two-faced or Janus bifrons—the god who looked both ways. He was the gatekeeper; his symbols were a porter’s staff or virga and a set of keys. To illustrate his importance, his name was even mentioned before Jupiter in prayers.

He protected the start of all activities. He inaugurated the seasons. The first day of each month was considered sacred to him, and the first month of the year. Early Romans coins featured his image, showing him as two-faced, one bearded and one clean-shaven. Later, during the Renaissance, this image of two faces would represent not only the past and future but also wisdom.

The images of Janus are strange and evocative; they seem to combine time and place with an uncomfortable intimacy. We tend to think of the present moment as the most real experience: the past and the future are unknowable or distant.

Yet, if we think about the hinges of our own actions in the moment, we do move in a constant cause and effect motion—past experiences influencing the present, then a future outcome. The more aware we can link the opposites, the more we can find our way with conscious results.

Notice the way that the combined hair of the old and young Janus in the image is braided, woven. Yet each individual face seems oblivious of the other. How do we become the weaver, the one who sees the patterns of change?

As the new year begins in the month of January, what is your Janus story?

What door are you opening, and how does it hinge on the past?

What is an experienced truth that the older Janus could share with the younger OR the younger Janus with the elder?

Explore the experiences and the truths you’ve learned and the goals that lie ahead, as we all transition to this new year and decade.

Author adminPosted on January 23, 2020Categories Myth, Personal Story, SeasonsTags Janus, Personal story, Roman

The Red Thread – Storytelling for Everyone

Japanese Legend

According to an ancient Japanese legend, there is an invisible red thread tied to everyone’s little finger at birth. The other end of the red thread is tied to someone that we are destined to meet.

The people connected by this thread will become part of each other’s story. The thread may get tangled or stretched but it will never break. The scarlet connection is not necessarily romantic or limited to couples, the tie can extend out towards all those significant and perhaps seemingly insignificant others that make up the story of our lives.

Our red threads could connect us to a great friend, a teacher, business associate, team mate or mentor. We are all part of a scarlet tapestry. The red threads are given at birth but we weave them together ourselves.

This Japanese legend explains life’s mysteries in a way that is both believable and incredibly romantic. If Fate really exists, let’s hope that it works in exactly the way that’s described here.

Close your eyes. Imagine your body as transparent. Can you picture the endlessly complex network of blood vessels connecting all parts of your body? We owe our existence to these life-giving rivers. Now, take note of one rather special channel within this system – the one that connects the heart with your pinky finger!

​​Formed by the ulnar artery, this channel makes your least notable finger a true “representative” of your heart. For this reason, in many cultures, when two people make a truce, or swear a vow, they do it by crossing their pinkies. 

According to the Japanese legend, this thread emanating from the heart doesn’t end at the tip of the finger. It continues in the form of an invisible red string, which ”flows” out of your pinkie and goes on to intertwine with the red strings of other people – connecting your heart with theirs.

Two people who are connected in this way are bound together by Fate itself. Sooner or later, they are destined to meet, no matter how far apart they live or how much their life circumstances differ. And, when it happens – that encounter is certain to profoundly affect both of them. The strings can sometimes stretch and become tangled, which could postpone the fateful meeting. But – those ties will never be broken.

Such a viewpoint on life and relationships has given birth to holistic philosophy, which states that our vital essence isn’t confined to the borders of our physical body. Holists declare that we are one with the Universe and see the notion of the Red Thread as one of the ways towards understanding this unity.

Have you ever found yourself thinking: ”This person has entered my life for a reason?” Quite possibly, you’re right. And it might be the case that Fate has already guided you to the point where you can bring change into the lives of others. 

This philosophy argues that, although we might not realize it, our lives move in a pre-ordained direction, guided by invisible strings that are woven into the fabric of the Universe itself. And all the while, the red thread connecting us to our distant soul-mates is getting shorter.

As the Japanese would say: Our world has its share of obstacles, but nothing in it happens by accident.






Author adminPosted on July 28, 2021Categories Folktales, LegendsTags Fate, Japan, red thread

Who is Maid Marian? – Storytelling for Everyone

 by Jaime Lee Moyer

Mention Maid Marian and Sherwood Forest in the same breath, and most people think of Robin Hood’s lady love. The forest outlaw and the noble lady are tied together so closely in modern folklore, popular literature, and movies, it’s hard to imagine one without the other.

Their story is one of the oldest and most enduring of all time, going back hundreds of years. But while Robin Hood is consistently portrayed as the boyish, carefree forest outlaw flaunting authority, Marian’s role in the ballads and tales has constantly changed.

There was no Maid Marian in the early yeoman ballads or the broadside ballads about Robin and his men that followed. A shepherdess named Marian is partnered with a peasant named Robin in early French lyric poetry, but that Robin isn’t an outlaw and doesn’t have the surname of Hood. Marian vanishes from the tales after that.

From the 16th century on, “Lady” Marian returned to the tales and became a fixture in the English outlaw tradition. Robin was still an outlaw, but now he was an outlawed noble fighting the injustices of John Lackland’s rule. As landed nobility in that age, tradition required that Robin had to have a lady by his side. Marian has a title too and when she takes to the woods, she doesn’t have an active part in the stories. She’s there to be desired and lauded for her beauty, fill the role of Robin’s lady, and at times, rescued.

Her character and role in the story continued to evolve and change. Marian became a goddess Diana type huntress in some plays, roaming Sherwood as freely as any of Robin’s men, and just as skilled with a bow. She was as at home in the forest as any of the Merry Men

By the time Ben Jonson’s unfinished play, The Sad Shepherd, was published in the mid-1600’s, her character had evolved even further. Jonson made it clear that Marian and Robin had a loving, sexual relationship. Marian becomes more than a possession; she becomes Robin’s willing and eager lover.

Over the centuries Marian was depicted as weak, then as a stronger woman. By the early 1900s her role in any of Robin Hood’s stories was fading again. Early films showed Marian as a spirited, flapper like young woman who usually ended up in trouble and needed to be rescued. The trope of being overpowered and needing to be rescued, no matter how capable Marian might be, is a stereotype that continued well into the 1990s.

Novels have done the most to move Marian toward feminism and being her own person, valued for who she is and what she can do, not solely for how she looks. Robin McKinley’s The Outlaws Of Sherwood has a high-born Marian winning the archery tournament disguised as Robin Hood. In The Forestwife by Theresa Tomlinson, Marion Holt escapes a forced marriage by fleeing to the forest and becomes the Forestwife, offering help to poor women. Along the way she gains the help of a poor peasant named Robin.

It’s fair to say that the role of Marian in any given play, ballad, or novel has reflected the changing role of women in society over the centuries. Marian has been a wife, a mother, a partner fighting at Robin’s side, an eternally chase maiden and a sexually mature woman. She’s been the property of men and fiercely independent, front and center in the ongoing narrative, and a vague background figure.

Robin’s noble yeoman has been virtually carved in stone for centuries, but Marian’s character is a bit of a chameleon. That’s a huge part of what makes her fascinating and why writers will continue to find new ways to look at her, and new stories to tell.


Source: https://folklorethursday.com/folktales/marian-of-sherwood/

Author adminPosted on March 9, 2022Categories History, LegendsTags British, feminism, Maid Marian, Robin Hood

The Sunflower – Storytelling for Everyone

Meaning and Myth

Clytie, Greek Nymph

Admiration and Devotion

As they turn their bright faces to follow the sun, sunflowers are also symbols of admiration and steadfast faith. People from a variety of cultures and religious faiths associate sunflower meaning with dedication and unwavering devotion.

Admiration and devotion can extend beyond religious faith. So, sunflower meaning can also represent loyalty and devotion to another person, a group of people, children, or even animals. It can also mean dedication to a professional calling or hobby.

Spiritual Meaning of the Sunflower

As they turn to face the sun, sunflowers remind people of those who seek deeper spiritual understanding and enlightenment. Often growing in fields full of other sunflowers, they represent devotees to a given faith.

Associated Spirit Animals

Sunflowers share traits and symbiosis with certain wild animals and insects. For example, moths, bees, butterflies, and beetles all rely on sunflowers for nourishment and in turn, they pollinate the flowers, thus extending their life force.

On a spiritual level, sunflowers share synergies with the bee spirit animal because they are symbols of devotion and dedication, as well as happiness. In addition, they are associated with the monarch and swallowtail butterfly spirit animals because of their orange and yellow hues and connection to the spiritual realm. Finally, sunflowers are associated with the hawk and eagle spirit animals because they symbolize spiritual ascension, and they all play an important role in Native American culture.

Sunflower in Inca Mythology

In 1532, the explorer Francisco Pizarro discovered giant sunflowers in Peru. They were sacred to the Iocal Inca People. For the Incas, the sunflower was in the image of Inti, their sun god. In fact, Incan priestesses wore sunflower-like discs made with pure gold on their breasts to honor Inti.

Native American Sunflower Meanings

For the Native Americans, sunflowers were also sacred, and they were included in spiritual rituals, including the Sun Dance. Sunflower seeds were an important food source, which they ground to make into flour. In addition, the plant was used for medicinal purposes and for building materials.

Sunflower in Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology, the sunflower is associated with loyalty and devotion. In one story, a nymph named Clytie is besotted with the sun god Apollo, and she tries to follow him everywhere. Unfortunately, Apollo loses interest in her and falls in love with another nymph named Leucothoe.

Heartbroken and jealous, Clytie tells Leucothoe’s father about the affair. Naturally, the protective father moves to break off the relationship between his daughter and the sun god. Enraged at the interference, Apollo turns Clytie into a sunflower.

Yet, even as a flower, Clytie continues to turn her gaze constantly towards the sun god.


Source: https://www.uniguide.com/sunflower-meaning-symbolism/

Author adminPosted on August 13, 2021Categories Legends, Myth, Nature, SeasonsTags greek, Native American, sunflower