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Once Upon A Place . . . June 2, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Fiction, Humor, People.

“Once upon a place, in a time long, long, ago . . .”

“How many years ago, Granny?”

“Oh, too many years to count.”

“More than seben?”

“Yes.  More than SEV~en.”

“I can count to SEVen!  One . . Two . . Three . . Four . . . um . . . SEB~en!”

“Very good, Gertie.  What about Five and Six?”

“Five and six, what?”

“Didn’t you leave them out?”

“Out of what?”

“Shouldn’t it be . . . One . . . Two . . . Three . . .”

“Oh, hurry, Granny.  I hear mom coming.  Tell me the rest of the story!”

“Very well.  Once upon a place . . . ”

“You already said that!”

“I did, didn’t I?”

“Hurry, Granny.  She’s coming!”

“. . . a young girl named Gertrude . . . ”

“That’s MY name!”

“Yes, it is.  You were named after your Great Aunt Ger . . . ”

“Hurry, Granny.  Hurry!”

“. . . and every night before bed, Gertrude wanted a story read . . . ”


“Yes, pumpkin.”

“I’m tired.”

“Shall we finish the story tomorrow, then?”

Gertrude didn’t answer.

She’d already entered the Land of Nod, where fairy tales do come true . . . “once upon a place and time.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

From Wikipedia:  The Land of Nod refers to the mythical land of sleep, a pun on Land of Nod (Gen. 4:16). To “go off to the land of Nod” plays with the phrase to “nod off,” meaning to go to sleep.

The first recorded use of the phrase to mean “sleep” comes from Jonathan Swift in his Complete Collection of Polite and Ingenious Conversation (1737) and Gulliver’s Travels.

A later instance of this usage appears in the poem The Land of Nod by Robert Louis Stevenson from A Child’s Garden of Verses (1885).

Related posts:  Sidey’s Weekend Theme ~ Once Upon A Place * Once Upon A Place (Kate Shrewsday) * We’ll Paris Have Always (Tinman)

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Artwork available at Roderick MacIver Arts.  The beauty of Rod’s art lies in his ability NOT to control all aspects of the water ~ he allows it latitude to do its thing while he does his. The result speaks for itself.


1. souldipper - June 2, 2012

Did we ever think, Nancy, that you’d be the blogger to encourage me to open the Bible? Well I had to look up Genesis 4:16: “So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.”

The next verse gives a pretty good clue as to why that brings about the concept of sleep:

“Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch…”

My Land of Nod is precious. I have great compassion for people whose lands are troubled.

nrhatch - June 2, 2012

I’ve loved the “Land of Nod” ever since reading through A Child’s Garden of Verses as a child.

2. souldipper - June 2, 2012

Oops…I’m had a little trouble with the “i” in Cain. Would you make the corrections, please, Nance?

nrhatch - June 2, 2012

All fixed.

3. granny1947 - June 2, 2012

How interesting…didn’t know that.
Damn…now I sound like spam mail.

nrhatch - June 2, 2012

Well, I know you’re not SPAM.

But speaking of the stuff ~ I’ve been inundated with SPAM lately . . . splattering gratuitous compliments my way. 😛

4. Andra Watkins - June 2, 2012

I didn’t know that about the origin of the Land of Nod.

nrhatch - June 2, 2012

I didn’t recall the Biblical reference . . . but I did remember the phrase from A Child’s Garden of Verses.

5. kateshrewsday - June 2, 2012

Oh, just melted with this one, Nancy 🙂 You write it so beautifully, and children at bedtime have ever been thus. My children with their grandmother are so very secure: I see yours are too.

nrhatch - June 2, 2012

Thanks, Kate. I’ve had many bedtime chats with “wee ones” just like Gertie who fell into their dreams before the story finished unfolding. 😀

6. Crowing Crone Joss - June 2, 2012

first, I love this painting. Stunning. Second, what a lovely bedtime routine. Makes me look forward to being a Nana some day.

nrhatch - June 2, 2012

This is one of my favorite Heron Dance paintings . . . it conveyed “Once Upon A Place” to perfection.

You’ll be a wonderful Nana, Joss . . . as soon as you finish hiking around the Alps!

7. Barefoot Baroness - June 2, 2012

Your painting belongs in a gallery of its own. It is striking with the textures achieved with just blues and whits. I love the Land of Nod. Maybe one of my all time faves. I could easily use the painting as my focal point while being lullabyed by the Land of Nod.. Now i have to decide whose voice the narrator should be. Any suggestions? i am using your work o create an insominia cure. It has such peace and calm energy.

nrhatch - June 2, 2012

I wish it was my painting. Rod McIver does stellar watercolors.

Best of luck with your insomnia cure ~ it is horrid to lie awake at night instead of drifting quickly to the Land of Nod. 😯

8. Booksphotographsandartwork - June 2, 2012

Gorgeous watercolor, I like that style very much!

nrhatch - June 2, 2012

At the rate you’re going, you’ll be a watercolor wizard in no time.

9. sufilight - June 2, 2012

This was entertaining! I learn from you, as I also didn’t know the origin of the Land of Nod.

nrhatch - June 3, 2012

I also like Winken Blinken and Nod . . . sounds like me when I’m falling asleep at my desk! 😆

10. Nancy Curteman - June 3, 2012

Lovely photo. The colors are gorgeous. The warmth between Granny and grandchild really spoke to my soul. So adorable.

nrhatch - June 3, 2012

Thanks, NC. It’s lovely when children can call upon a parent’s parents for additional assistance and guidance in navigating through life’s corridors.

11. Three Well Beings - June 3, 2012

How interesting! I always enjoy learning something of the origins of a word or phrase. I would never have known this one! I really enjoy how you follow-up on Sidey’s themes. I would think it to be quite challenging, but always with good results. Debra

nrhatch - June 3, 2012

Oh, I wish you would play along sometime, Debra! The best part about Sidey’s themes is that there are NO RULES . . . except to have FUN.

12. wightrabbit - June 3, 2012

Absolutley charming! I’m looking forward to reading bedtime stories to my granddaughter, Grace, in a year or two! 🙂

nrhatch - June 3, 2012

Start at the earliest possible opportunity, Jacqueline . . . the time for bedtime tales is short and, oh, so sweet. 😀

13. SidevieW - June 3, 2012

awwww, what a time to fall asleep, just when the rest of us wanted the story. i hope she slept sweetly and dreamed of the girl before her with the same name

nrhatch - June 3, 2012

I often started telling bedtime stories without any clear idea of the destination . . . knowing that the destination mattered less than the journey of spending time with young ears.

Thanks for a fun theme.

SidevieW - June 4, 2012

That is so true, they love family or personal stories

nrhatch - June 4, 2012

And hearing about when they were “little.” 😉

14. Paula Tohline Calhoun - June 3, 2012

Allow me to re-introduce myself. I’m Paula Tohline Calhoun (you used to call me PTC, remember?) I’ve been away for so long I though maybe you might have forgotten! 😆

Love your story. “Winkin’ and Blinkin’ and Nod” was one of my favorite lullabies to sing to our boys. Buffy Sainte-Marie did a nice rendition of it on Sesame Street here:

Hope it embeds!

You’ve done as usual, a great take on Sidey’s theme. Mine is decidedly different (as usual) and LONG. Although I haven’t been going on to terribly long of late! 😆

nrhatch - June 3, 2012

I remember you! And your “that reminds me” muse. 😀

I enjoyed writing this. It reminded me of many bedtimes stories shared with tiny tots under my care.

I saw a poetry prompt recently that seemed perfect for you. If I can find it, I’ll head round to share it with you.

15. bluebee - June 4, 2012

Sweet, Nancy. Do you remember “Wynken, Blynken and Nod”?

nrhatch - June 4, 2012

Yes . . . but I’ve always spelled it incorrectly (see comment #9 #14). 😛

16. cuhome - June 5, 2012

Winkin’, blinkin’ and nod . . . yes, I remember the Land of Nod from A Child’s Garden of Verses, as well! Nice post, very soothing.

nrhatch - June 5, 2012

Thanks, Janet. All I had to do was close my eyes and revisit “Once Upon A Place . . .” at bedtime.

17. eof737 - June 14, 2012

Beautiful post and painting…

nrhatch - June 22, 2012

Thanks, E!

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