Tale Weaver #127: Nursery Rhyme Rifts 06.07.17 – Muffet


image: jo dover, fineartamerica.com

The assignment this week: take a nursery/Mother Goose rhyme, tongue twister or song, and give it a new spin. Modernize it, analyze it, hypotheoreticalize it, satirize it, serialize it, fantasize it . . . then weave a tale around it.

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet . . .


When Muffet was born, her parents thought her such a cute baby they named her Muffet in honour of her mother’s favourite nursery rhyme.

Little did they know of the torment that name would bring their daughter.

As she grew and went through school, she was faced daily with such embarrassments as:


Little Miss Muffet sat on her fat tuffet

Eating her turds all day….


It went on this way for much of her schooling.

The part about the spider coming down and frightening her away came when she was fourteen.

The spider was Alan Tusher, a long legged and long armed boy who took a fancy to Muffet and who saw Muffet as a character in the school yard slightly more maligned than he was.

Alan was known as ‘sticks’ because of his thin frame and long appendages. Sticks like Muffet had suffered a lifetime of abuse from the other kids.

By the time puberty hit him he was learning the art of survival.

He hated the ridicule of everyday.

Muffet he saw like himself, ostracised and always on her own.

He started to sit near her, and one day he moved and sat on the seat next to her.

Muffet thought he was being nice to her, but in fact, he was setting her up for his form of bullying. He asked her to walk along the river bank with him. Muffet was so pleased anyone would ask her to do such a thing she turned up early, in her best dress, a dab of her mum’s perfume on and waited for Sticks to arrive.

He didn’t show up, but the next day there was great laughter among the other students as someone had taken a photo of her standing in waiting for Sticks. It appeared on the class Facebook page with the heading: ‘Look who was seen awaiting her shining prince.’

Ashamed of being exposed as she was, Muffet vowed to never again to listen to anything a boy said to her.


Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/tale-weaver-127-nursery-rhyme-rifts-06-07-17/

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18 Responses to Tale Weaver #127: Nursery Rhyme Rifts 06.07.17 – Muffet

  1. Bullying… I loathe it. Vivid tale and a reminder that parents sometimes should think of their kids when choosing a name (something I’m very aware of these days 😜).
    Sad but beautiful tale Michael.

  2. scribblersdip says:

    Ahh, this is a fun but sobering tale too – amazing where the mind can wander – and how cleverly you’ve worded this Michael – I mean, it’s fizzy light, but it underscores some of the darker FTs as well as uglier truths about life and kids. Fun prompt this week – really like what you did with this – the touch of fanciful has struck me high this morning, so I have to admit, I’m delighting in the “crueler side” of all great FTs.

    • Michael says:

      FT’s were originally written to teach a lesson and were therefore often on the darker side of life. I agree with you that this prompt is an excellent one.

      • scribblersdip says:

        yes, FT’s only became sugary sweet when Disney kicked it into high gear 😦

      • Michael says:

        Whenever I think about FT’s I always remember the true meaning behind “Ring a ring of rosy..”

      • scribblersdip says:

        true – how did something so sweet sounding and playful actually come from the plague? inquiring minds want to know – and funny how for many, the actual origins and meaning are lost …..

      • Michael says:

        We live in a sanitised world Pat, but I always thought the FT’s were more sinister than they appeared…..Hansel and Gretal was hardly an uplifting tale…

      • scribblersdip says:

        you’re quite right – all good tales, have morals and lessons, and readings and adaptations are usually polished up a bit to make it all more presentable – but the truth, as you’ve mentioned, was mostly to teach and scare the dickens out of people and children – a stern warning!

  3. Lorraine says:

    A nursery rhymer with the modern bend of bullying applied. You have a wonderfully creative imagination, and used it to create a very vivid tale. A cautionary one, as nursery rhymes often are — this time the dangers of cyberbullying. The cruelty of children is often not surpassed in adulthood, and the use of bullying to elevate your own position. I’ve seen and experienced this — hits a true note.

  4. Oh cruel. But then kids can be.

  5. Jael Sook says:

    I want to cry with hurt and anger–and then go beat up that stupid boy!!! Excellent writing as usual, Michael 🙂

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