Ladybug, Fly Away Home

Well camouflaged in the corner, two ladybugs explored ancient barnacles at sunset.   I vaguely remembered some nursery rhyme as I watched them…something like Ladybug, Ladybug fly away home.  But, after that I drew a blank.  Later, I looked it up and discovered those lines lead into a somewhat grim poem.   In good company with such well-known favorites as “Ring around the Rosie” and “London Bridge is Falling Down”, this old nursery rhyme means something completely different as an adult than it did as a child.   

Ladybug!  Ladybug!
Fly away home.
Your house is on fire.
And your children all gone.

All except one,
And that’s little Ann,
For she crept under
The frying pan.

This is the American version.  There are others that use “Ladybird” instead of Ladybug.  For some reason, reciting this poem to a ladybug would make it fly away and perhaps bring you good luck.  Killing one, either purposely or inadvertenly, was of course very bad luck.

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