Two OBHs

Two recent One Big Happy strips, one with Joe updating a nursery rhyme (with Ruthie’s help), one with Ruthie once again in the Land of Ambiguity:



Three Blind Mice. Joe’s ingenious elaboration of the story of the three blind mice introduces one especially remarkable feature, the health insurance (to allay Ruthie’s concern about animals being harmed).

From Wikipedia:

“Three Blind Mice” is an English-language nursery rhyme and musical round [with its origin in the early 17th century; possible reference to historical figures is unclear].

[modern words]
Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice?

…[another elaboration] Published by Frederick Warne & Co., an illustrated children’s book by John W. Ivimey entitled The Complete Version of Ye Three Blind Mice, fleshes the mice out into mischievous characters who seek adventure, eventually being taken in by a farmer whose wife chases them from the house and into a bramble bush, which blinds them. Soon after, their tails are removed by “the butcher’s wife” when the complete version incorporates the original verse. The story ends with them using a tonic to grow new tails and recover their eyesight, learning a trade (making wood chips, according to the accompanying illustration), buying a house and living happily ever after. Published perhaps in 1900, the book is now in the public domain.

There are endless (often cloyingly) childish videos of the rhyme, but I recommend the 1962 (instrumental-only) recording by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, which you can listen to here.

Horse-drawn. #2 is considerably more straightforward. It turns on a simple ambiguity in the verb draw — from NOAD2:

[1] produce (a picture or diagram) by making lines and marks, especially with a pen or pencil, on paper

[2] pull or drag (something such as a vehicle) so as to make it follow behind

(These two verbs draw have the same historical source  in Germanic, but quite clearly separated long ago.)

So horse-drawn is either ‘pulled by a horse’ (the most plausible reading from a real-world perspective, but a reading using the infrequent verb draw [2]; horse-drawn ‘pulled by a horse’ is now an idiom, and is separately listed by NOAD2) or ‘depicted by a horse artist’ (semantically transparent, but bizarre by real-world standards, as Ruthie recognizes).

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