Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Little Nut Tree

AFTER days of the house being in disarray following the arrival of our new baby, I decided that if we at least had one beautiful corner, there would be hope for the future. So I revamped our nature table. Though September has begun, it still seems too early for a harvest theme, and I'm not familiar enough to do a Michaelmas table without researching it first, so decided on the nursery rhyme I had a Little Nut Tree. I used yellow beeswax for the golden pear, and took a nut from Emma's collection and painted it silver to make the silver nutmeg. The tree was made from a bare twig to which I added six green felt leaves. The princess's dress was made from a scrap of fabric left over from a dress made by Grandma, wrapped around a cardboard cone, pipecleaner arms and a body stuffed with wool. The head is a another nut, and the hair more wool.

The characters in the nursery rhyme are believed to refer to the visit of the Royal House of Spain to King Henry VII's English court in 1506. The 'King of Spain's daughter' refers to the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. The princess in the nursery rhyme is probably Katherine of Aragon who eventually became the first wife of King Henry VIII, much loved by the British people.

I had a Little Nut Tree

I had a little nut tree, nothing would it bear
But a silver nutmeg, and a golden pear;
The King of Spain's daughter came to visit me,
And all for the sake of my little nut tree.

Her dress was made of crimson, jet black was her hair,
She asked me for my nut tree and my golden pear.
I said, "So fair a princess never did I see,
I'll give you all the fruit from my little nut tree."

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