The Blessèd Crèche

I’ve heard talk of a world where the old were revered and respected: living in the homes of their children and grandchildren, and enjoying the attention years of hard work and accumulated wisdom had earned them. Where smoke rose in lazy whisps from houses filled with a gentle and soothing contentment. Disturbingly, I’ve also heard rumours of a place where  Grandma might  spend her whole time telling everyone how the country has gone to the dogs and everything was better in her day, including the fruit scones, but no problem. We’ve shipped large quantities of the aged into  ‘spot the care homes’ so we can get on with our tennis coaching and ferrying the children to talent contests.

Now the pendulum has swung the other way and young children, who used to climb up those chimneys to clean them, are now the treasured symbols; almost the last bastions, of sweet innocence and their delicate sensibilities must be protected from any and every suggestion of bad influence.

With that in mind we take you to a hospital ward where mothers are recovering from child birth and their babies rest in a nearby crèche while they sleep. It so happens that the names of these babies are Stalin, Hitler, Goebbels, Khengis Khan, Mao, Jack the Ripper and that guy who ended up selling slightly ‘off’ fruit whose name I forget. He never amounted to anything anyway. LOSER

At regular intervals, some well-meaning personage stops by and, bending over this unique and amazing collection of mass murderers, psychopaths and deviants says “Coochie cooochie coo. Who’s a lovely boy then. WHOOOOSE A LOVELY BOY”. In fairness, none of them answer because none of them are, but Nurse World Peace doesn’t realise that. She’s lost in her dreams of sweetness and delight. The big question is, are these babies already nutcases of the first rank or does the sour and distressing quality of their childhood turn them into monsters?

I’ve no idea really. It all depends on whether you think we are all innately good but are thrown off track by a lack of chocolate and sausages, or that some people are  just parcels of evil which the  world unwraps at it’s peril.

That was the opinion of  Dr J Guttleburg, originally destined for another solar system and with gifts different to ours, but sent here through a postal error.  Now a would be astronomer, ( understandably ) and part time librarian, who possessed, for us,  a unique and unprovable ability to see the future life of a baby just by looking at his cradle. This was not normally a problem. Little Alfred, the joy of his mother’s heart, morphs before Guttleburg’s eyes into his future as a beer swilling second rate tyre changer. Alright, not the best a man can be, but there are many worse careers. “I should know” he added darkly.

Anyway, returning to the point, imagine his horror as he passes this crèche and finds it packed full of ranters, frothers, mass murderers and psychopaths: all screaming at each other to follow ‘the’  chosen, if differing,  paths. What would you do? He does what any sane man would in the circumstances and reaches for the fire axe before plunging through the door to commence a world saving cull of these monstrosities. Unfortunately he is tackled by some misguided security guard and carted off to jail while our little monsters are played a soothing passage from  Wagner’s opera  ‘Gotterdammerung’ to settle them down. Only Hitler is affected enough to mark the composer as his favourite during a subsequent and glittering career in politics.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
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31 Responses to The Blessèd Crèche

  1. araneus1 says:

    Awesome……..running out of adjectives………… how am I expected to pick a favourite line?
    ‘fruit scones’ comes close, as does ‘chocolate and sausages’ but really the best line………….. “originally destined for another solar system and with gifts different to ours, but sent here through a postal error.”


  2. Wow! From Nigel to this!
    This is almost too much to ponder on a Sunday morning with birds singing in the garden. I think I’ll just pretend everyrhing in said garden was,is, and always will be, rosy. 🙂

    Seriously though, this is very thought provoking. But it’s seasoned with your very individual sense of humour which makes it much easier to ponder:)


  3. gotham girl says:

    Like “araneus1” above…I can’t list all of your phrases that made me laugh out loud! Most excellent piece!


  4. catterel says:

    Much food for thought – what a scary world this has always been, though, and probably will continue to be until Armadegeddpn finishes us off. Keep smiling!


  5. catterel says:

    Armageddon that was supposed to be. It’s the ginger wine …


  6. Ina says:

    Hi Peter, lovely, this reminds me of a story by Roald Dahl. 🙂 It is good that we can’t know what will become of our children or that axe would be used perhaps…. We can hope, and give love, and if things go wrong, seek for help, and if the worst happens, be sad. But every baby should be loved and cared for. Even those that might turn out a bit scary once grown up 🙂


  7. Jane says:

    It makes one wonder what happens to all children who go astray. Where does the finger legitimately get pointed? I asked this question a long time ago. If God creates everyone, and he loves everyone, and he wants only harmony and good for all, why do we have evil? The answer I got was “choice.” So where do we fail in our instruction of our youth that they decide that evil is a good choice?


  8. Hmmm nature v nurture an interesting conundrum, thought-provoking and laced through with your wry humour. Thank you I really enjoyed this 🙂


  9. desertrose7 says:

    Perhaps all of us have the potential to be destroyers?
    All of us, in the right (or wrong as the case may be) set of circumstances have the potential ability to do terrible terrible things. Like maybe, kill someone.
    The ones we call “evil”, happen to ENJOY it though.
    It comes down to conscience, doesn’t it? Empathy. Having a conscience that feels empathy.
    Babies to me sometimes seem like complete blank slates, and it can be a little creepy actually, when they are just new and fresh…and blank. But then nature compels them to smile, and everything in the world is good again. 😉


  10. Al says:

    Environmentally or congenitally caused evil……a question for the ages. There are arguments for both sides with Ted Bundy (for the former) and Leopold and Loeb (for the latter). Frankly, to me it doesn’t matter, and the fact that we don’t know is always the reason for caution in our dealings with people.


  11. When baby is born, it inherits a set of predetermined traits which nature has chosen for the newborn soul.
    Nurture furthermore determines which of them will come to light and to what extent.
    Anyway, very thought provoking post!


  12. JP McLean says:

    Your writing never fails to put a smile on my face. Thanks.


  13. More chocolate! More sausages!


  14. That was brilliant.


  15. nelle says:

    I’d go with environment as a causative factor… much to think on there.


  16. jannatwrites says:

    Interesting scenario here- and thought-provoking. The nature vs. nurture debate rages on. Maybe “rages” wasn’t the best choice of words considering the group of babies we’re dealing with here….


  17. This is very Roald Dahl-ish, which spooks me a bit.
    The whole nature vs nurture debate. I tend to think it’s a mix of both.


  18. kate4samh says:

    Ooooooh! Very nice. I think good people are capable of bad things and vice versa, but those you referenced seemed to reach a point of no return at some stage their journey. Interesting to think about when and why and how it might have been different. Excellent and deserved comments also.


  19. Very thought provoking and what a picture you created.
    I have pondered the question of nurture or nature many times since being involved with a psychopath for 10 years and then listening to hundreds of wimen tell their story of life with one of these evil abnormalities of nature. I believe these “people” are born disabled; just like children who are born missing limbs, their eye sight, or with brains not fully developed. Psychopaths are born unable to feel empathy, sympathy, remorse or love. Regardless of their upbringing they can not be fixed, not with meds, not with therapy. If many of them are abused as children it could be the parents were frustrated to the end of their rope and lashed out in an attempt to control or teach their child to act like a human and treat people wiyh respect and fairness. But they are only concerned with their own selfish desires and have no concern for the people they use and abuse along the way. The only difference upbringing might have is to teach the psychopath how to act normal. They study people in order to fit into society and in order to gain control of their victims by appearing just like them.
    All creatures have a conscience, empathy and are able to love and care for others. From the mother duck who defends her babies to the lion cub who remembers the humans who raised him. Dog’s feel guilty, show empathy if their master cries, will lay down and die beside their dead master. Psychopaths don’t care about anyone but themselves not even their own children.
    I have never heard of a psychopath being cured, truly cured; not just putting on a good act.
    In my opinion they are aliens or sold their soul to the devil in a previous life.


  20. You make a very good point, and with great wit. I think in some cases being an awful person is inbuilt, in the same way as having a missing toe or a cleft palate. In other cases, it’s a case of nurture. Then again,when you think how many of us non-psychopaths supported Hitler, Stalin et al – is it really about the odd individual at all, or is it about the boundaries society sets for its members?


  21. Pingback: The Blessèd Crèche | erickeys

  22. bgbowers says:

    I have a strong opinion on this subject. I have been a full-time mother now for nearly 5 years. I chose to be a full-time mother, sacrifice the 2nd salary, because it was paramount for me to nurture my children. I will never understand those mother’s who prioritize their mortgage payment over their babies. After having 2 babies of my own, I can tell you, unequivocally, that babies require safety, love and lots of human contact. They need to be hugged and held. It’s pretty obvious that they would not be getting this kind of attention at a childcare centre. They couldn’t possible. Unfortunately, certainly here in Australia and in New Zealand, the mortgage takes priority over caring for your child in their formative years, and I shudder to think how this trend will affect this generation of children.


  23. Purely.. Kay says:

    This was amazing. And I loved it when you said “Coochie coohie coo” lol. I absolutely love it lol :). Great read as always


  24. Caroline says:

    Another Gem from your ‘pen’



  25. Nice. Started out thinking it was non fiction personal experience, then commentary, then fiction… What a wild ride!


  26. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    “Last bastions of sweet innocence” – I love the way you put things. And thrown off path by a lack of chocolate & sausages!!

    This is such a good piece, so interesting. Really inspired. 🙂


  27. somniatortrux says:

    I find this pretty confusing. Did you have a viewpoint going into this?


  28. ‘It all depends on whether you think we are all innately good but are thrown off track by a lack of chocolate and sausages, or that some people are just parcels of evil which the world unwraps at it’s peril.’
    Through your tongue-in-cheek humor, you really touch upon things that are often ‘off-limits’ … and in that way your writing reminds me of Mark Twain’s or Oscar Wild’s. Saying that, you have an absolutely unique style.

    And, dare I say, I have often thought about the ‘issue’ thing piece brings up. I do wonder if there is something fateful … or should I say, karmic, in the horrible humans that have been and are on this earth that began in such innocence. Very powerful, Peter.


  29. Mikels Skele says:

    To some observers, each of those babies is not a monster, but a world-saver. Therein lies the rub.


  30. Borednicole says:

    Too bad there isn’t a body scan to weed out the terrible ones. Right now, at this very moment in a nursery near you, squirming in a soiled diaper could be the end of us all. Coochie coochie coo. 🙂


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