How do you know Humpty Dumpty was an egg?

White Padded Room

It is one of the most popular rhymes in the English language.

Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

I find it problematic that this rhyme is considered a “nursery rhyme.” Why is this considered comforting or soothing to an unsettled toddler? I guess if the child is unable to understand English, it would be effective if spoken softly.

Based on myths and legends, it tells of a live creature plunging to the ground from his perch on a wall, ostensibly breaking into several pieces upon impact.

  • Sounds like fodder for nightmares to me. Check this out:


  • An illustration from Walter Crane‘s Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes (1877), showing Humpty Dumpty as a boy.
  • I’M going to have nightmares thinking of that poor boy dying. It looks as if he might have been having…

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One thought on “How do you know Humpty Dumpty was an egg?”

  1. The Mother’s Goose nursery rhymes were supposed to have hidden political meaning but when I read this to my children I would say:
    “We all need to help each other and the horses and Kings men were trying.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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