Peter Rabbit, Humpty Dumpty, Mother Goose and God

by Russell Odell - odell at

As a youngster I read Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, the story of Alice in Wonderland. The part of that story that left an impression with me is when the White Queen told Alice that she was 101 years, 5 months and one day old.

Alice said, "Oh, goodness me, I canít believe that!"

Canít you?" questioned the Queen in a pitying tone, "Try again.  Draw a long breath and shut your eyes."

Alice laughed, "Thereís no use.  One canít believe in impossible Things."

The White Queen replied, "I dare say my child, you havenít had much practice, have you?  Many years ago when I was your age, I always thought of impossible things a half hour every day.  Why sometimes I thought of as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

As children it was easy to believe in impossible things.  There were Peter Rabbit, Hympty Dumpty.  Mother Goose.  Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs.  All of them invisible and impossible.  Yet, as children, we did believe in them ó didnít we?  We had the love and the faith to make them real.

At the same time we were romping through the meadows with Peter Rabbit or walking along the country dirt road with Mother Goose, or racing through the woods with Robin Hood, we were also going to Sunday School.

As our minds were already self-trained and very well programmed to believe in invisible and impossible things thus, we accepted, in childish innocence, the stories of how the baby Moses was found in the bulrushes by the Pharaohís daughter.  We didnít question the story of Jonah being swallowed by a whale and living in its guts for three days and nights before being puked up on the shore as good as new.  We accepted the story of Noah building a big boat and taking thousands of animals aboard to save them from the flood.  And a very loving God drowned every living man, women and child on earth except Noahís family.  His is supposed to be the same God that wrote in the Ten Commandments, "The Shalt Not Kill".

Unconsciously, we self-indoctrinated ourselves with the impossible, the invisible, the untouchable and the impractical. We were now ready to believe in heaven and hell.

We felt no reason to ask questions because these stories came from the Bible.  As children, we accepted the Bible as the word of God as though God Himself wrote every word.  Many fail to understand that God never wrote one word of the Old Testament and Jesus never wrote one word of the New Testament.  The Bible was written by 39 men and one woman. To question the Bible would be a sin and if you sinned you would go to hell.  Of course, no one wanted to go to hell.

The fantastic stories of the Bible originated in the minds of imaginative story tellers just as Peter Rabbit, Humpty Dumpty and Mother Goose originated in the minds of their writers.

Washington Irving used his imagination to write his story about Rip Van Winkel.  Edgar Allen Poe used his imagination to write The Fall of the House Usher.  Matthew used his imagination to tell his story of the Three Wise Men.  Jonah used his imagination to write his experience with a whale.  Luke used his imagination to write the story of the Virgin Mary.  What wonderful imagination did Jules Verne use to produce his story, A Journey to center of the Earth?  What imagination inspired Moses to write his story of the parting the Red Sea?

From the realms of imagination came many unforgettable stories.  Aesopís Fables were spoken and written contemporary with the Bible and were then more popular.  If you mix in a little religion, put the story between the pages of a religious book they take on an heir of authenticity.

The reason the Bible has been around for hundreds of years is because it is the only textbook religion has.  It is the basic text book of every Christian Church in the world.  Itís their bread and butter.  The Bible is their survival kit.

For hundreds of years preachers have been telling us about the joys of heaven and the torments of hell as though they have been to both places many times.  But they know no more of heaven and hell than you do.  They remind me of Chicken Little running around and yelling, "The sky is falling!  The sky is falling!"  And they have no more substantiation than Chicken Little.  They are still wandering around in the storybook domain of Peter Rabbit, Humpty Dumty and Mother Goose.

All the hell we are ever going to get we will get right here on Earth.  I have had the experience myself.  Most of you have too.  We get a free ticket to hell every time we lose a loved one in death.  And we sizzle in that hell a long emotional time.  While our emotions are tearing us apart we look around for that great loving God who loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to comfort us.  It is then I begin to realize that He, like Peter Rabbit, Humpty Dumpty and Mother Goose must be looked at from a different perspective, with a deeper understanding, leaning more toward logic than fantasy.  I am reminded of Puck, that little elf in Shakespeareís play, A Midsummer Nights Dream, who said, "What fools we mortals be".

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