With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Nesting Wrens and Daddy's Favorite Nursery Rhyme

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Nesting Wrens and Daddy's Favorite Nursery Rhyme

New occupants amongst the Petunias and Impatients
in the basket hanging on the front porch
House wrens busy building a nest.
(notice the bird on the top left flying in with a bit of nesting material)
Mama wren peeking out.
hmmm... now how do I go about watering this basket?
an interesting domed nest
I have fond memories of my dad playing a sweet little nursery rhyme finger-play game with me as a child and how it fascinated me to see the little birdies vanish and then reappear.
My children remember well, when Pop-Pop played it with them too.
Two Little Dickie Birds
(my dad used the names Jack and Jill)
From Wikipeda: The rhyme was first recorded when published in Mother Goose's Melody in London around 1765. In this version the names of the birds were Jack and Gill:
There were two blackbirds
Sat upon a hill,
The one was nam'd Jack,
The other nam'd Gill;
Fly away Jack,
Fly away Gill,
Come again Jack,
Come again Gill
Here are Daddy's finger actions for the rhyme:
Out of sight, he would place a small piece of colored tape onto the fingernail of his index finger on both hands.
As he began reciting the rhyme he would show us both of his hands closed into a fist.
 the hand actions are: (I adapted this Wiki Chart to Daddy's version)
Two little dickie birds sitting on a hillBoth fists are closed
One named JackWith a quick motion, Daddy would flip one of his fists over his shoulder and return it with the index finger extended to show, Jack.
One named JillHe would repeat with the other hand.
Fly away JackThe Jack hand is quickly drawn back alongside the adult’s head. As part of the movement the adult folds the marked finger and sticks out the second finger of the same hand and drops the hand back down to the original position. The child sees that the marking, Jack, is no longer there – it has flown away
Fly away JillThe action is repeated with the other hand
Come Back JackThe action is reversed to make Jack reappear
Come Back JillThe action is reversed to make Jill reappear
I am not sure if my dad learned this rhyme from the Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme book I received when I was five years old or if he knew it from his childhood.
My guess is that he knew if from his childhood.


Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

What a lovely memory, so sweet!

How will you water those plants? Good luck :)
Gorgeous shots!

marie said...

I remember that nursery rhyme too...but not until you reminded me!

There are house wrens building a nest in one of my pots this year as well. I discovered them when I was watering it and one swooshed out at me! Not having much knowledge about birds, I headed over to Google and found a good article about these sweet litle birds. The article mentioned that I can still water carefully around the nest...the wrens will fly off when I do and then they'll probably "scold me" from a distance and come back when I'm done watering. That is exactly what happens! Each time the little wren flys off to a nearby tree and very loudly cautions me to be careful!
I haven't gotten any photos of them yet - they move to quickly for my little point and shoot. Thanks for sharing yours!

Here's the link if you'd like to read it.


Mildred said...

What sweet little birds! Interesting to read Marie's comment above about watering. Also, I have heard of folks using ice cubes carefully laid down in the pot to water.
That is such a precious memory of your Dad, Lorraine. I know your childhood book is very special to you.

Snap said...

Wonderful memory and welcome to the wrens!

Ann said...

I remember this nursery rhyme too but with the names Peter and Paul. I noticed that's the name used in the one book in the picture also.
I never knew about the hand motions though. what a sweet memory

Julie Harward said...

Ahhh, sweet little birds...you'll have to water way around it and mostly with ice maybe? Love the rhyme too..neat that you put the instructions! ;D

Sandy said...

I remember my parents teaching
that to me, too! And we just
discovered this week that we
have darling little wrens now
in an old decorative bird house
on a corner of our fence post.
It bothers me to see they've
nested there because we have so
many cats in our neighborhood.
They could easily hop onto the
fence and reach in and snatch
the baby birds. Keeping a close
eye on that bird house!
Have a lovely evening...

Garden Lady said...

Sweet, sweet, won't you have fun watching the little birds. Watering is going to be challenging

Buttercup said...

What beautiful pictures. What a nice summer afternoon on the porch watching your visitors.

Susan said...

Great shots, LDH. Those little birdies know a comfy spot when they see one! Wonderful photographs. Just wonderful.

Cute , too.Susan

NanaDiana said...

Oh that is MY favorite little children's riddle too! What is really fun is to "attach" two little birds to their little fingers and let THEM try to get rid of it...and if they can shake it off...watch them try to make the birds come back~ LOVED this post! xo Diana

no spring chicken said...

I used to do this rhyme with my kids when they were little, sans tape. Sweet memory..

What an absolute delight to have nesting wrens in your basket. It was beautiful, now it's stunning!

Blessings, Debbie

d~ said...

I love your nature pictures and the wrens are so sweet as is the memory of your dad and the rhyme.

A Quiet Gracious Life said...

Yes, watering might be a bit tricky! (o;

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

How PRECIOUS! I love little wrens so much. In fact, when the blue shoes (now planted at the base of our garden bench) in today's post were in the garage, wrens once nested in them!

Jeane` said...

Oh my word! I had COMPLETELY forgotten of that whimsical little rhyme that my great-grandpa used to do with pieces of the sweet and low packet paper at restaurants when I was a little girl! Thank you for zipping me quite quickly back to my childhood!

Penned Pebbles said...

Beautiful photos and my boys used to love that rhyme!

Rhondi said...

This is my first time to visit your blog and I love the name. We had birds nesting in our hanginf planter a couple of times too. It's so much fun to watch them. I'll be back to visit agian.


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