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Katie loves cottage cheese. As I stood at the sink loading the dishwasher, Katie sat at the kitchen table enjoying her second bowl for the day.
"Mama! This morning when I was eating my cottage cheese when you were in the shower, you know what I did?"
"What'd you do, Sweetie?" I flicked an ant off the plate. I don't normally like to kill living things. I'm the kind of person who picks up bugs and escorts them outside. Except for ants. When ants invade my kitchen, I turn into George Zimmerman. They're so tiny and travel in gangs it's simply impossible for me to catch them fast enough to relocate them to where they are welcome.
Katie continued, "I said to myself:
Little Miss Muffet
Sat on tuffet
Eating her courage and whey
Along came a spider
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away."
"Oh, that's wonderful!" I smiled, trying not to laugh at her. I liked Katie's version better than the original nursery rhyme. "I used to recite that nursery rhyme when I was your age too. Where did you hear that?"
"The school librarian. She said courage and whey is like cottage cheese." Katie explained with her mouth full.
"You know, it's actually 'curds and whey' not 'courage and whey'. But I like 'courage and whey'. Maybe if Miss Muffet had actually eaten some courage and whey she wouldn't have run away from the spider. Most spiders are nice if you're nice to them." I looked around for the ant I'd flicked to see if he was still around. Maybe I'd try to take him outside after all.
"1940 WPA poster using "Little Miss Muffet" to promote reading among children."