Skip to content

Playing with water: crooked man

Playing with water color, inspired by an old children’s rhyme.

There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house

The origin of the Nursery rhyme “There was a crooked man” is in British history. The content of “There was a crooked man” poem have a basis in history. The origin of this poem originates from the English Stuart history of King Charles 1. The crooked man is reputed to be the Scottish General Sir Alexander Leslie. The General signed a Covenant securing religious and political freedom for Scotland. The ‘crooked stile’ referred to in “There was a crooked man” being the border between England and Scotland. ‘They all lived together in a little crooked house’ refers to the fact that the English and Scots had at last come to an agreement. The words reflect the times when there was great animosity between the English and the Scots. The word crooked is pronounced as ‘crookED’ the emphasis being placed upon the ‘ED’ in the word. This was common in olde England and many references can be found in this type of pronunciation in the works of William Shakespeare (1564-1616).


  1. Hi Ken,
    Love your crooked house. I did a bit of a similar thing here
    for Illustration Friday. Thanks for the information on the nursery rhyme, fascinating.
    Your website is fun and your photography is outstanding.

    I met you in LV at an SCBWI regional last year when your image won as the Nevada logo.

  2. Neat style! Love the color. Great line work too.

  3. Very creative. Love it!

  4. ken ken

    Thanks for stopping by @everyone! I appreciate it.

Comments are closed.