Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider and sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
Little Miss Muffet has gotten a bad rap over the years. The term “Little Miss” is indicative of a haughtiness problem, which people have assumed is the reason for her “sitting on her tuffet.” Her name was probably Louise or Hilda, or something perfectly lovely. Our perception of her would completely change if the rhyme read:
Guinevere Muffet sat on her tuffet.
We would think: Now there’s a sweet girl; I’m so glad she sat down and got some rest. Also, the only reason she was sitting on her tuffet was because nothing else rhymed with her name. The only other option for the opening line was:
Little Miss Muffet liked Jimmy Buffett.
Not as catchy, if you ask me. And she hardly seems the Margaritaville type.
Clearly Miss Muffet was tired; she didn’t even have energy to clean the spider webs, hence the appearance of the spider. As a busy mom, I have also had periods of exhaustion that have led to remarkable spider webs with networks more impressive than Sprint. When the chores seem overwhelming, sometimes you just have to surrender and allow the spiders to become miniature pets for your children. Of course, you have some explaining to do when you’re scraping their pets off your shoe into the trash can.
Not only was Little Miss Muffet exhausted, but she was a tad edgy. Even if this spider had been a Daddy Long Legs, I think she overreacted. True, spiders can be creepy, especially when their legs are longer than yours, but who literally runs away from them? Unless this spider was bigger than her house, she should have just picked up her tuffet and squashed him to oblivion. Show him who’s boss, because “give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile.” No doubt the spider took over her tuffet and eventually the whole house. And he was just the vanguard for the entire army of spiders he invited over to his new pad.
If you ask me, Miss Muffet had reached gluten overload. She was eating curds and whey, clearly the beginning of a gluten-free diet which hadn’t kicked in yet. Given the choice, nobody would eat that stuff voluntarily. After a couple of weeks of detox, she would become a whirling dervish of energy, and any spider who got in her way would not live to tell about it. Thus came the sequel to the poem:
Guinevere Muffet got off her tuffet
And cleaned ’til her hands turned blue.
Along came a spider and crawled up beside her…
The last thing he saw was her shoe.