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The native habitat of teddy bears

I've now encountered this nursery rhyme thrice. C's mother knew it from her childhood, but C had never heard it. (Presumably it was out of vogue when he was a child?) Misremembered conversation - we were talking about "Wind the bobbin up".

Round and round the garden
Like a teddy bear.
One step, two step,
Tickle you under there!

Why and how do teddy bears go round and round gardens? What are they doing out there? Do they live in particular kinds of gardens? Is it where they live when they're not off having picnics in the woods?

Are you familiar with this rhyme?

Yes, since childhood.
Yes, since adulthood.
No, it is not familiar to me.

Or rather, "learned as an adult".



( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 3rd, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)
I totally grew up with this nursery rhyme; I hear it in my mother's voice, and feel her tickling fingers (you do know the moves that go with it, right?).

And obviously, teddy bears go round and round gardens in order to rhyme with "there". It's very important to them.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 01:40 am (UTC)
I've seen two different versions of the moves. The round-and-round part using either palm or stomach. Under-there is either under chin or under-arm. The steps are transitional between wherever one is going.

Is it really that free form in terms of body parts used, or can you enlighten me as to how it ought to be done?
Feb. 3rd, 2013 01:54 am (UTC)
You have been mixing with heretics. There Is Only One True Way. You take the child's arm by the wrist. Round-and-round is with your forefinger around the child's palm. One-step, two-step takes you up the arm via the elbow, and tickle-you-under-there is in the armpit, to the total collapse of small child. Stomach? Chin? Bah humbug!
Feb. 3rd, 2013 04:17 am (UTC)
Yes to this. Stomach? No. Palm. Always the palm.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 03:20 pm (UTC)
Yes - another palmer here.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 11:10 am (UTC)
Agreed. My grandmother used to play it with me, but I seem to associate it more with my grandpa.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 11:27 am (UTC)
Quite right!
Feb. 3rd, 2013 03:43 pm (UTC)
Quite right. Dad used to do this to us.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)
But of course. Stomach? Ridiculous.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
Yes, this is exactly correct.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 08:44 am (UTC)
My mother played it with me, I played it with my daughters, and to my shame I have even played it with my dogs. Some have liked it (and so I have continued) and some haven't.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 01:32 am (UTC)
I think the teddybear in the rhyme is a sort of caterpillar.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 01:41 am (UTC)
That would explain a great deal.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 06:56 am (UTC)
Agreed. I can picture the caterpillar in question, a very hairy one; I'm wondering now what it was called before there were teddy bears.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 08:42 am (UTC)
Come to think of it, the very boring "woolly caterpillar"
Feb. 3rd, 2013 12:53 pm (UTC)
Woolly bear caterpillar, as I recall (regional diffs?).
Feb. 3rd, 2013 01:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, probably. The rhyme might even have started off as "like a woolly bear"
Feb. 3rd, 2013 01:46 am (UTC)
You circle the palm, then take two steps up the arm before tickling the armpit.

It's just possible it has something to do with Andy Pandy and Teddy, but I certainly remember it from very young childhood. And it makes a three-year-old friend of mine giggle a lot. She demands frequent repetition.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
In my family it's "tickly under there!", but yup, that's a good rhyme.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 05:15 am (UTC)
I vaguely remember it, so it was plainly not one that we used a lot in my family.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 05:20 am (UTC)
I know it as "round and round the garden / goes the little bear," which at least removes the problem about the automated stuffed animal and replaces it with a less difficult one in which someone has inadvisably left food out in bear country.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 12:43 pm (UTC)
I remember it as "looking for..." which completely eliminates teddy bears doing any moving.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 08:08 am (UTC)
I learned this tickling rhyme at my mother's knee and had it reinforced by the BBC in Play School. However, I came across another "tickling rhyme" when I was bringing up my children:

Right about there, sat a little hare <--- Circles on palm or stomach
Along came a pussycat... <--- Pause
And chased him under there! Tickle under the armpit!
Feb. 3rd, 2013 08:25 am (UTC)
You can go Jumping in the air! or Jumping in your hair! for children who really don't like tickling.

Those teddy bears get around.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 11:44 am (UTC)
When we went on holiday in rural Transylvania, we did get bears in the gardens (they like to forage in rubbish bins) but as it was 5am I was too zonked to greet the bears politely and enquire as to their first names.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 03:22 pm (UTC)
Have you considered that the bears may be circling the garden (which is set in the woods) on the outside, slavering for tender child flesh? Will the picket fence hold them at bay?

Free the mad bears!

Edited at 2013-02-03 03:24 pm (UTC)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 05:15 pm (UTC)
I *just* learned it this week! Overheard my MiL using it.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )