Exercise imagination or beware. So says Vita Sackville-West in the introductory paragraph to Nursery Rhymes (Dropmore Press, 1947).
Samuel Taylor Coleridge once remarked that he could not “recollect a more astonishing image than that of a whole rookery that flew out of the giant’s beard.” Coleridge had a nice taste in magic, and the fact that he may have invented the “astonishing image,” which apparently does not occur in any known version of The History of Thomas Hickathrift, is quite beside the point. The point is that Coleridge had a proper appreciation of the preposterous, the astounding, yet entirely acceptable propositions which go to make up the thaumaturgy of the nursery, and no one lacking that appreciation is advised to read any further.
She goes on to ask:
For what is the normal life of the nursery? It is not really the place where one is washed, dressed, undressed, washed again, given a glass of milk and a biscuit, put to bed, and dosed after indiscreet enquiries into the state of one’s inside. It is, on the contrary, the place where, […]
I leave the rest for your further reading or your imaginations.
And so for day 750