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 Ladybird, Ladybird, Fly Away

The Origin of this nursery rhyme

 Summer   Nineteen-forty-two, Brooklyn New York!

 Jack Kelly Junior is playing in the back yard where he lives in a Brooklyn tenement.
The hot sun peaks out from behind a white fluffy cloud, creating Jacks shadow
on the concrete ground, magnifying the five year olds small size.
The sudden appearance of his large shadow causes him to look toward the sky.

His blue eyes squint as he looks at the bright sunrays reaching out to encompass him.
He can barely make out what is a tiny bright red bug with small black dots,
flying above his head.

The ladybug lands on his arm.
His natural instinct is not to slap and kill the bug but rather to recite a rhyme:
   "Ladybird, Ladybird, fly away, your house is on fire and You can't stay. Fly away.
Come back another day."

The child gently blows on the bug and the bug flies away.


Charles F. Farrell, the author of Ladybird, Ladybird, Fly Away,
is a retired NYC firefighter.

Ladybird, Ladybird, Fly Away, 28 October 2001

Laurie - 2002