Fa – the Green Dragon

A Place for the Odd Musings of an Expat Bristolian

Jumping Jacks


This is an End-of-the-Year light-hearted piece that ha been sitting in a box for a long time. It’s based on the nursery rhyme written around 1815.

Jumping Jacks

Jack be Nimble, if that’s your name.

Here’s an idea for a different game.

Jack don’t be nimble, Jack be good.

Only do the things you should.

Stop jumping over candle-sticks

The world is tired of old-time tricks.

Not only that but it burns my wick!

I say this with no pun intended.

But one of these days you’ll be upended.

If it happens and you fall down.

There’s a real good chance you’ll break your crown.

If you do this at any time,

You’ll find yourself in a different rhyme.

You might find it hard to take this pill,

But you’ll be paired with a girl named Jill.

Take that Jack! And your pail too.

Don’t say I didn’t look out for you.

Jack be Nimble, why the laughter?

Just wait till Jill comes tumbling after.

Your fate is sealed it’s carved in stone

From now on you’re not alone.

She’ll be with you like a shadow,

To follow you around.

You’ll be a prisoner of her guile.

Do not worry, just wait a while;

You see, in you she made one good pick.

So maybe now you’ll stop your tricks.

And take up other things to make or do.

Now, Jack be Nimble do this now

It’s for your sake, so make a vow

 Jack be Nimble do hereby swear

To never jump again.

No more fortunes told with candles.

Raise plants instead with long green tendrils.

No, perhaps not; I did not mean

That you should start at growing beans.

For that might change the rhyme once more

Running for dear life towards the door

Of a giant’s castle in the sky

Bound on baking you in a pie.

Down the stalk and run instead

Home to mother and your bed.

Stay there forever, forget the game

I even hope you forget my name.

Forget what I have said today

Just go about your life your way.

Go back to being nimble and also quick

Continue jumping candle sticks

That you will fall we have no fears

Because you’ve done this for two hundred years.



Author: Cethru Cellophane

I have reached the regrettable realization that I may have squandered my life. I did a quick count recently and figured that I have visited about 66 countries, and lived for more than 3 years in 3 of them. During this time I completed 14 corporate moves (relocations) and have changed my address more than 23 times. I should have settled on a profession that would have kept me in one place with no packing and unpacking. When I think of the time I have spent bundling my life into and out of boxes. Ah well, it's all water under the bridge. But I am grateful for the experience. At the end of the day I will be able to say with a certain authority, "been there, done that". A note about this site’s Header Image The Header image for this site is of the Smith Avenue High Bridge. The bridge was built in 1889 and carries Minnesota State Highway 149 across its span of 2770 feet, 160 feet above the mighty Mississippi River. The picture was taken from the river looking to the north-east and downtown Saint Paul. The bridge is about 1040 miles from New Orleans. One of the reasons I like this view is that I come from a city which has a spectacular bridge. It’s the Clifton Suspension Bridge http://www.ikbrunel.org.uk/clifton-suspension-bridge which spans the Avon Gorge and the River Avon in Bristol, U.K. It’s about 1350 feet long and stands 245 feet above the river below. Sadly it has claimed the lives of more than 400 people who have committed suicide by jumping from the bridge. As a side note, not all attempts were successful. two small girls thrown off the bridge by their deranged father survived the fall when they were fished from the river by the crew of a passing pilot boat. The bridge was opened in 1864 and was designed by the 24 year old architect, Isambard Kingdom brunel. It took 35 years to complete.

6 thoughts on “Jumping Jacks

  1. That was so brilliant and funny, very cleverly written…. 🌟✨💫✨

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great fun. a nice conflation of nursery rhymes.


  3. Really clever! Great way to end the year. Thanks.


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