ShareMonday2019 – Pop Goes The Weasel
Do you remember the rhyme? Could you make the “popping” sound with your cheek? Yes, I do and yes, I still can. And I can’t help doing it when the little weasel at The British Wildlife Centre actually pops up to say hello! I was visiting the centre with my godchildren last week during half-term. It’s a favourite place of ours for a day out and was lovely in the warm sunshine we’ve been treated to recently.
There’s still no conclusive answer as to exactly what these rhyming lyrics mean. It seems most likely that they are derived from cockney rhyming slang Weasel and Stoat meaning coat, referring to a coat being pawned to get money for food.
Half a pound of tuppenny rice
Half a pound of treacle
That’s the way the money goes
Pop goes the weasel
Weasels are closely related to stoats and otters, from the Musetlid family. They’re the smallest British carnivore and you can tell them apart from the stoat, not because they’re stoatally different, but because the weasel has a shorter tail with no black tip! They can be found in a wide range of habitats throughout England, Wales and Scotland but are not seen in Northern Ireland or on many other British Islands. Blink and you’ll miss them though, tiny and very fast! I’ve only seen them a couple of times in the wild myself and not long enough to be able to photograph one.
I really love finding my inner child again, through spending time with the many children in my life! They remind me of all the joy and wonder in this beautiful World of ours and how to enjoy the simple pleasures. Like singing nonsense rhymes, making popping noises with your cheek, all while laughing at the antics of a small and utterly brilliant British mammal! Hat’s off to the British Wildlife Centre for all the wonderful, conservation, education and rehabilitation work that they do.
Sources: The Wildlife Trusts, British Wildlife Centre and Wikipedia