The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90418   Message #1713482
Posted By: Joybell
08-Apr-06 - 09:35 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Lady's alligator purse? Her own thread
Subject: Folklore: Lady's aligator purse? Her own thread
Azizi has already been here but I think it deserves it's own thread. I'm using the children's rhyme "Miss Lucy had a Baby" in a play. The question about the aligator purse is nagging at me. I see that Azizi is asking too.
Here's the rhyme (in one of it's forms):

Miss Lucy had a baby
She named it Tiny Tim
She put it in the bathtub
To see if it could swim
It drank up all the water
It ate up all the soap
It tried to eat the bathtub
But it wouldn't go down its throat
Miss Lucy called the doctor
Miss Lucy called the nurse
Miss Lucy called the lady
With the alligator purse
Measles said the doctor
Mumps said the nurse
Nothing said the lady
With the alligator purse
Miss Lucy kicked the doctor
Miss Lucy punched the nurse
Miss Lucy paid the lady
With the alligator purse.

Like Azizi I had an instant impression of a "Healer" of the old style. African-American? Cajun? even Gypsy? with a big bag of herbal (and Voodoo?) remedies.

Google will get you a few sites with interesting interpretations but nothing in the way of solid evidence. That's what I'm after.

My question (and Azizi's) is -- who is the "Lady with the alligator purse"? And what is the significance of this symbol?

Cheers, Joy