Lens-Artists Challenge #223 – Flights of Fancy

horse, chicken, goat, grazing
Old MacDonald Had A Farm – E-I-E-I O

Farming is a profession of hope.”

Brian Brett

Well I must admit that John knocked me for a loop this week with his Flights of Fancy challenge. I thought long and hard but came up empty. That is, until it occurred to me that children’s songs and poems are all about fanciful things – and I was off to have some fun with John’s theme. My opener (along with this week’s header), represents what one might find on “Old MacDonald’s” farm – on the assumption he actually had one 😊. At night, after putting his farm critters in their stalls perhaps he sang his children to sleep with the lovely …..

night, stars, twinkle
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

Sarah Williams

Many nursery rhymes, children’s stories and songs are widely known around the world. Some of today’s features will be more familiar to those in the U.S. (Although Twinkle Twinkle above was originally written in England.) But one I’m guessing very few of you will recognize is my children’s story Al E. Gator Moves To Kiawah. Click on the link and hit Preview for a look at my published children’s book.

alligator, teeth, smile, book
Al E. Gator

“You know you’re old when someone compliments you on your alligator shoes and you’re barefoot.”

Phyllis Diller

The next image is one that I suspect most all of us could guess, especially since its fleece is white as snow. Yep, it’s everyone’s favorite, Mary’s Little Lamb.

sheep, lambs, fleece
Mary Had A Little Lamb Its Fleece Was White As Snow

“Mary had a little lamb its fleece electrostatic. And everywhere Mary went the lights became erratic.”

David Foster Wallace

Once I got started I enjoyed skipping down Memory Lane to revisit some childhood favorites. I’ll be interested to hear from our international followers about which of these stories, songs and nursery rhymes are popular in other places and whether they’re exactly the same or a bit different. For example…

pink, sparkle, flower petals, shoe
One Two, Buckle My Shoe, Three, Four, Shut The Door

β€œGive a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.”

Marilyn Monroe

How many generations of children have enjoyed, learned and sung along with the verses of these children’s standards? But what about spoken lyrics? Who knows this one?

owl, bird
The Wise Old Owl

“A wise old owl sat in an oak; the more he saw the less he spoke; the less he spoke the more he heard; why can’t we be like that old bird?”

Unattributed, first published in 1875

Or how about this one? I’ve probably recited it a hundred times with our granddaughter, nieces, nephews and the children of our friends. Funny when you think of it, it’s kind of a creepy subject but put it into a rhyme with a tickle at the end and voila, it’s guaranteed to generate giggles and smiles.

spider, web
The Itsy, Bitsy Spider Climbed Up The Water Spout

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself….and spiders!”

Darynda Jones

I’ll close with a favorite which I think should be known to most everyone — or maybe not. Can you guess it?

boat, lake, dock, mountains
Row, Row, Row Your Boat Gently Down the Stream

“Little boats should keep near shore.”

Benjamin Franklin

OK you’re right, it’s not really a stream and it has a motor but you get the idea 😊. Thanks to those who hung in there with me for this one. Please let me know which of these examples, well-known here in the U.S., are recognized around the world – and whether perhaps your version is a bit different. Thanks also to those who joined us for Amy’s Mountains Are Calling challenge last week. We very much enjoyed your amazing collections of magnificent peaks from around the world!

Hopefully John will forgive me for stretching the meaning of his challenge a bit; we look forward to seeing how you interpret his fanciful theme. Be sure to link to his original here and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Next week’s challenge “Exposure” will be led by Sofia on her Photographias site so be sure to check it out. Until then, as always, please stay safe and be kind.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.

107 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #223 – Flights of Fancy

  1. Ha, this is such a brilliant take on the challenge, Tina… I love it. You take me back to my childhood with this story and of course your words intertwined with the art of your photos. The “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” photo and thought is my favorite, because it seems such a global song/story, and get the child in us shooting for the stars every time. I’m now trying to search online for my favorite childhood album by Burl Ives Animal Folk πŸ™‚

  2. Well done – how creative! Love it that you wrote a children’s book – now that would be a flight of fancy for me! I recognize only some of the rhymes, the first two and about the climbing spider. I guess English speaking countries have all of these though, and other countries have only some of them.

    • Thanks Ann-Chistine. I’d never thought of it that way but that’s a really nice perspective. We have so many families whose children and grandchildren visit often so Al has been a popular read for many of them, as well as for my own family. Yes I was surprised at how widespread the songs and rhymes are among English speakers worldwide. It would be fun to see the corresponding stories and songs from other countries as well. Maybe a future challenge?!

  3. Nicely done, Tina. I can see that Big Al was the inspiration for your take on this challenge. I hope the Kiawah Tourist Bureau has lots of copies of your book there for sale. It would be such a great momento of the visit to your island. I love all the photos.

  4. Pingback: Flights of Fancy | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

  5. There’s always a way round it if you think about the challenges, Tina. Often more fun than a literal interpretation, and I love what you’ve done here. But you know my favourite is always going to be rowing that boat, don’t you?

    • Thanks Jez – took me a while to come up with a response and have been so amazed at the variety of responses this week. I think John’s challenge made us all think out of the box a bit!

    • thanks so much Kellye – I had fun with this week’s challenge, and it was also fun writing and publishing the book (quite a while ago). Glad you enjoyed both, much appreciated

  6. Wow Tina, I did not know that you also had creative writing as a talent, what a great story and what a lovely way to show off the wonderful wildlife of Kiawah too. Loved you take on this. Knew most of the rhymes too

    • Well I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it creative writing Karina, but the little ones do seem to really like it and for the grandparents it’s a nice little introduction for them to our wildlife. Glad you enjoyed my fanciful post – took me a while to get there but it was fun when I did 😊

  7. Truly a marvelous take on the fanciful theme, Tina, what a great idea and you have the images and quotes to do it right! How cool you have a published book of children’s stories. That alligator looks happy! Gotta love that spider and he doesn’t look that itsy-bitsy!

    • You’re so right Terri, the spider was NOT itsy bitsy – one needs to be very careful around Kiawah during spider season. they’re not dangerous but they are oh-so-creepy!!! Thanks for the visit and comment.

  8. Just a moment Tina I just want to get comfortable and take off my aligator shoes. Oh I already took them off… πŸ˜•

    At least the owl was wise enough not say Amy Amy Amy when it saw you! Wonder if the owl has seen the life of Brian?

    Excellent take on this challenge. All those nursery rhymes are known in South Africa

    • Many thanks John. You definitely made us think on this one. The replies are all very different but still in line with your theme. Excellent choice!! Glad you enjoyed Al, he’s quite popular among the grandparent set here on Kiawah 😊

    • Loved your comment Donna, thanks so very much. Creativity was the only way I could figure out to respond this week. I’ve so enjoyed all of the other responses thus far and how much thought everyone is giving it. Quite brilliant John IMHO!

  9. You’re right! I hadn’t met Al E. Gator, but I’m very interested now … what a talented woman you are. And a great take on the challenge. You’re right about this too – it’s not an easy one, but of course you’ve risen to it in style.

  10. Smartly done, Tina! I had the same problem with this challenge and it’s interesting to see the directions we took. I recognize almost all of them from my son’s time at nursery, so they are well known around this parts too. I had my own, that I tried to sing to him but I have to admit I can’t remember most of them any more. Your photos are beautiful and so well picked for your post.

  11. Top quality photos, as ALWAYS. Love you Al Gator book. That’s as close as I want to get. Love the Diller quote and Wallace. Suicide has too often robbed us of great minds, like Wallace, Stefan Zweig, and many others no doubt.

    • Many thanks Anne – I found this week very challenging until I came up with a direction and then it was hard for me to stop LOL. I’ve been very impressed with all of the responses so far. Very creative

      • I had a feeling this challenge would be wide open for interpretation. It took me a while to find a direction. I’ll be doing my post this morning.

  12. I absolutely loved this. That you brought to life, our childhood nursery rhymes is fun. I love all the animals, And the starry sky. But the shoes was a favorite.

    Very clever, and creative. I don’t think it was a stretch. I think everyone will love it.

    I keep thinking about the challenge too. It’s a thinker.

    Really loved this. I taught preschoolers and kindergartners for many years. I used to say… is this real? Do you think it could happen. It was a great way to generate conversation. (I’ll have to look closer at your book. My phone isn’t user friendly with that link.)

    • Thanks so much Donna – I had my doubts as I wrote it but I had so much fun putting it together I couldn’t resist. Although I must admit many of the others posted so far are quite creative and beautiful. I love that there are so many different interpretations this week. Your idea about using the “is this real, could it happen” is brilliant! Thank goodness for creative teachers – they make sure a difference in our world.

  13. Tina–this was so much fun! Even Al E Gator is laughing. And I am sure it is because of that wonderful Phyllis Diller quote. Wasn’t she a mess in the best possible way?! I think John is going to love your most creative post!

  14. What a wonderfully creative post….. generations have and will continue to sing! I knew all of these but never quoted the Old Owl… probably reflective in my speech!

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