Part three of the Creepy Nursery rhyme series is a special request. You ask; I deliver.
Little Miss Muffet, sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider, who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
Some interpreters think that Miss Muffet is Mary, Queen of Scots and the spider is John Knox (religious reformer). Now, while I can agree that religious reformers are horrifying, this is not what the rhyme’s about.
Others believe that Little Miss Muffet is Patience, daughter of entomologist Dr. Thomas Muffet (possibly Moffett or Moufet). Lived in the 1500s. He liked bugs.
Scariest part of this nursery rhyme? Call me an idiot (ok, don’t) but until I just googled it, I totally thought curds and whey was, like, oatmeal. In my mind, I pictured Little Miss Muffet sitting down with a cute blue bowl filled with oats and cinnamon.
Food fail. Curds and motherfucking whey. It’s like cottage cheese but grosser (how is that even possible?) The curds are the white, spongy lumps. The whey is the cloudy liquid that sloshes around the lumps. And I’m aware that this is just how cheese is made. Look, if I wanted to know how cheese is made, I’d be a dairy farmer. I don’t want to know.
What really happened?
Miss Muffet plops down on a tuffet (which is either a grass hill or a three-legged stool), sticks her spoon in between her knees and pulls a Tupperware container out of her bag. She smiles slightly and carefully opens the lid. Her smile disappears, mouth opening in a silent scream. It’s not oatmeal. It’s not a hot pocket. It’s not instant grits or a veggie burger or leftover alfredo. Sweet Jesus, it’s curds and whey.
Wrinkling up her nose, Miss Muffet glances around. She looks back to her house, and sees no sign of Father. She shakes the curds and whey. It jiggles. The soft, pungent smell wafts up to her and she gags. Miss Muffet stands and empties the container’s content onto the grass. She replaces the lid and trots back to her house.
“Daddy! Daddy!” She calls out, ensuring her voice breaks just enough. She squeezes her eyes shut, then blinks but no tears come. Damn. It.
He throws open the door, his panicked face in a scowl. “What’s wrong?” he asks.
Miss Muffet sobs. “A…a…spi-i-i-der. I spilled my cuuuurds. My cuuuurds and whey.” She holds out the empty Tupperware.
“Ohhh. Oh. It’s OK,” Father sighs, wipes his forehead. “It’s OK. Your mother made enough to last a month.”
Terrifying, n’est pas?