Jack Sprat and Peter Pumpkin Eater

Today Mother Goose is exploring two marriages in her world of nursery rhyme characters. We will compare and contrast the life and loves of two very famous couples, Mr and Mrs Jack Sprat and Mr and Mrs Peter Pumpkin Eater. Maybe it’s been awhile since you thought of these two romances. Let me refresh your memories:

Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
Had a wife but couldn’t keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her very well.

She's not as happy as she appears.....

and also:

Jack Sprat could eat no fat.
His wife could eat no lean.
And so between them both, you see,
They licked the platter clean

The perfect couple.

Let’s first of all consider the wives. Peter has a wife, but he really doesn’t know what to do with her! Maybe she has a mind of her own (OMIGOSH!), and speaks up for herself. Maybe she has an independent spirit which Peter cannot tolerate. Perhaps she wishes to start a career of her own. I like to think that Mrs. Pumpkin Eater has gotten the kids all raised and now she’s ready to bloom professionally. Before the children came along, she had a fine job in the junior department at Kohl’s — maybe she could go back to school for fashion merchandising and work as a buyer for a boutique in Wheaton now that the kids are all grown and on their own. Basically, Mrs. Pumpkin Eater is ready to get out of the house!

Mrs. Sprat is very very different from Mrs. Pumpkin Eater. She can eat no lean! She’s hangin’ on the couch. She’s got her bag of cheetos, and her Breyer’s ice cream, and her Domino’s Pizza delivered to her front door. She’s got American Idol on the TV and laptop open where she’s playing some online games with her facebook friends. She is happy. She is content. Life is good.

And in walks Jack Sprat after a long day at the office. Jack is thin as a green bean — he’s livin’ the vegan lifestyle and workin’ out at the gym every morning before work. Ridin’ the bikes and lovin’ the burn. He’s careful of his cholesterol and checkin’ his blood pressure at Walgreens. Not a speck of fat crosses his lips! His wife adores him because he spoils her with Godiva chocolate, Brie cheese, triple cream and fine wine.

Contrast Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater. That old control freak locks his wife up inside a pumpkin shell! Not only does she not get the opportunity to realize her dreams, but she’s got that yucky pumpkin stuff stuck to her night and day. Ewwww…..

Who is the happily-ever-after couple in THIS study? And the moral of this story? It’ so much better to lick the plate clean with some who loves you, than to live in a well-decorated pumpkin shell with a control freak. How does your life compare to these married couples? Are you the Sprats or the Pumpkin Eaters? Think about it…..

And bee blessed!

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dianna
    Nov 26, 2011 @ 20:42:46

    I’m just trying to figure out who that “Peter Pumpkin-eater” character reminds me of! He does look rather smug.

    I love this post! Very well done, Mother Goose!


  2. Jason
    Nov 26, 2011 @ 21:37:17

    I’ve always wondered what Peter was doing eating pumpkins. Pumpkins are gross.


  3. Three Well Beings
    Nov 27, 2011 @ 23:56:24

    Oh Mother Goose…in January I will celebrate 40 years of marriage. I think we’ve been variations of both couples at some time or another! Ha! Debra


    • Natalie
      Nov 28, 2011 @ 08:11:46

      Debra, please allow me to be one of the first to wish you a blessed and happy anniversary! The secret to your marital longevity must be that you have a very very good sense of humor! 🙂


  4. ElizOF
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 03:39:27

    Love your analysis even as I ponder which couple I like best… 😉


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