Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Enchanted Forest: Being Crooked Can Be A Lot Of Fun

The Crooked Man's House, Norfolk Botanical Garden
(Click pictures to enlarge)

Don't Let The Rain Come Down
"There was a crooked man and he had a crooked smile
Had a crooked sixpence and he walked a crooked mile
Had a crooked cat and he had a crooked mouse
They all lived together in a crooked little house

Uh-huh, oh no, don't let the rain come down
Uh-huh, oh no, don't let the rain come down
Uh-huh, oh no, don't let the rain come down
My roof's got a hole in it and I might drown
Oh yes, my roof's got a hole in it and I might drown

Well, this crooked little man and his crooked little smile
Took a crooked sixpence and he walked a crooked mile
Bought some crooked nails and a crooked little bat
Tried to fix his roof with a rat-a-tat-tat

Now this crooked little man and his crooked cat and mouse
They all live together in a crooked little house
Has a crooked door with a crooked little latch
Has a crooked roof with a crooked little patch

Uh-huh, oh no, don't let the rain come down
Uh-huh, oh no, don't let the rain come down
Uh-huh, oh no, don't let the rain come down
My roof's got a hole in it and I might drown
Oh yes, my roof's got a hole in it and I might drown."

~ Written & Performed by The Serendipity Singers (1964)

Crooked windows, crooked man, crooked cat and mouse doors.

This is the second in a series of playhouses built for the children who visit the botanical gardens this summer. Each is based on a piece of children's literature or poetry. The first we visited was Jack's House. Now we are focusing on a crooked man... or his house that is. From a distance you see a tall purple pipe sticking up from the very crooked roof of this house. Then it moves and moves again and the sun glints off of a shiny surface up top. What could it be? A periscope disguised as a stove pipe!

The house is crooked, the windows odd shapes and the front doors.... bright orange with the shadow... or silhouette of the crooked man. The siding is made wood shingles of different sizes and colors; cream, purple, bright green and ORANGE! On closer inspection, kids were hovering around the periscope... it really worked! And look there.... little doors in the wall cut especially for the crooked cat and the crooked mouse!

Up periscope!!! Posted by Picasa

As with all the playhouses, this one will be auctioned off at the end of the summer and a lucky boy or girl will have this in his/her backyard. It is bright and colorful and perfectly fitting for the Saturday ..... "orange".

Oh! Yes! This poem always reminds me of the song written and first performed in 1964 by a group of folk singers, The Serendipity Singers. I believe Trini Lopez also performed it later as well.

(end of post)


Beverly said...

How cute is that.  Our Sweet Adeline's chorus sings "Don't Let the Rain Come Down."  When we first got the music, all 18 pages of it, we thought we would have a hard time learning it, but it turned out to be one of our favorites.  Alas, we don't have it in our repertoire this year, but I believe we could polish it up in a couple of rehearsals.

Kimberly said...

This is so cute; I love the mix of colors! Will make some child very happy, I'm sure. (It would also make a great chicken coop!)

Sandra said...

what and adorable little house, i would have loved one like it when i was young. we had to make do with making tents out of old bedspreads or sheets or using great big boxes.

Simplycol said...

The original poem, "There was a Crooked Man" ....  has always been a childhood favourite of mine.  Interestingly  it's origin is thought to date way back in British history with the crooked man supposedly being a Scotish General and the crooked house referring to the fact that the English and Scots came to a fairly amicable border agreement. 

This little crooked house is absolutely adorable... and my grandkids would love it.  Wish I could be there when the auction takes place. :)

Michelle said...

What a fun (and orange!) playhouse!  Thank you so much for sharing it and for stopping by and commenting on my own pics!!  :)

Life Ramblings said...

what a colourful playhouse and perfect for the theme.

randomsnapshots said...

my little girl would sure love to have a playhouse as colorful as that one...

Here's my orange photo

YTSL said...

What a cool playhouse!  If only there was a playhouse like that when I was a child... ;b

noel morata said...


i enjoyed reading your take of this week's photo hunt with your beautiful playhouse, what a wonderful thing to build for kids to play in and this one is quite imaginative, thanks for sharing this.

my orange theme is on my sari blog today

Ginny Hartzler said...

Well, these playhouses are just amazing! Someone with a lot of talent and creativity must have thought them up! I see the shadow of the crooked man, and even the little mouse cutout! I would love to know how much these houses go for at the auction!! They are almost priceless!! I hope you have more to post, how many were there? I look forward to seeing!

kenju said...

I remember that song. The playhouse is really cute!

ann said...

Great post... great playhouse... perfect orange for the theme.. thanks for coming to see mine...

CherryPie said...

Lovely post and a great idea for the theme :)