Mulberry Bush

cute siblings resting in green garden

Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush. Here we go round the mulberry bush, early in the morning…

When I was quite small my grandmother used to set me on the table in front of her and repeat nursery rhymes from her memory. From Old Mother Hubbard to Jack Sprat Could Eat no fat, on into The Little Old Woman and her shoe, to Little Jack Horner sitting in a corner and All Around the Mulberry Bush, she knew them all.

Then when I grew up I bought several books of nursery rhymes and read them to my children until they knew them by memory.

I didn’t stop with nursery rhymes, I read all sorts of books to my children. I read them asleep for their naps and I read them awake after their naps. The tradition continued as they grew older. Even Old Fuzzy got into the game as the kids got older, reading to them in winter evenings before bedtime.

The fall we began homeschooling the kids began giving me grief about something and I picked up my copy of Laddie by Gene Stratton-Porter and began reading them into school…We read that book, we also read the Tolkein Hobbit/Lord of the Rings series, C.S. Lewis Narnia series, some of Madeline L’Engle…

There was a true love of reading in our family. I don’t think any of our children have carried the tradition as we did. Some of it was wives who don’t read, but the one who has read to the children most was our Young Fuzzy who has no children of his own.

He has read to his nieces and nephews, especially the Frog and Toad series. And oddly enough, I didn’t read to him nursery rhymes…but I did read to him and he absorbed the same love of reading, of words rolling off the tongue of imagery conjured in the mind.

Mulberry bushes have consequences you know. We used to sing about here we go-’round the mulberry bush, which seemed lost to reality. The mulberries we knew of didn’t grow on a bush. They grew on a tree, usually with a gooseberry bush at the base of the tree.

Whoever wrote the rhyme must have confused the mulberry with the gooseberry. There isn’t any similarity between a gooseberry and a mulberry, but both can be used for pies. The gooseberry needs lots of sugar. My grandmother made the best mulberry pies but her secret has been lost to us.

In life, there isn’t always a rhyme or reason as to why things happen—or don’t happen. And in one generation things can be lost that were unthinkable. We see it sometimes in large things and sometimes in small.

If we believe our society is increasingly wicked and will soon self-destruct, think again. Think again about the roaring 20s. They were a wicked time of immorality, crime, and whatnot.

Along came the Great-depression followed ten years later by WWII. What comes as a surprise is how often when things such as the Great-depression or a war happen people become more conservative.

Here’s a quote from the T.V. show Mash that I find interesting:

 Hawkeye: War isn’t Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell. And of the two, war is a lot worse.

Father Mulcahy: How do you figure that, Hawkeye?

Hawkeye: Easy, Father. Tell me, who goes to Hell?

Father Mulcahy: Sinners, I believe.

Hawkeye: Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in Hell. War is chock full of them — little kids, cripples, old ladies. In fact, except for some of the brass, almost everybody involved is an innocent bystander.

You may agree or not, but the concept is interesting and in truth, those who go to hell are there because they made a choice not to obey God. Not that that will make hell better…hell is just hell.

“Judges 2:

1 And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.

2 And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?

3 Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.

4 And it came to pass, when the angel of the LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.

5 And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the LORD.”