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April 2, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge


vintage Easter post card. bunnies and girl on seesaw on Easter post card. 1907. (Nat.lib.of Norway/USPD,, artist life/

While she may not look all that thick, you know humans have a way of getting things out of balance. We can call for reinforcements or bounce and jiggling until she drops that big basket, then make a hop for it as she grabs to steady herself. Even their little ones seem naturally good at grabbing. (USPD/


It’s what the world needs now.

Always difficult

Between the natural world and society’s conventions

Emotion and logic

Flight or flea (some irritants not so easily scratched)

If practice makes perfect, then seesaws must be returned to playgrounds.

The wooden ones.

Without the perpendicular teeth smashing handles

Seesaws are dress rehearsals for life.

Repeated ups and downs.

One moment flying high and the next dumped unceremoniously onto the ground.

Suddenly and unexpectedly hurting, bruised, and embarrassed, but finding that’s only temporary.

Obviously some are weightier than others – situation easily handled by making slight adjustments in position or asking others to help.

Then there’s facing a load so heavy, so unmoving, that all the bouncing and complaining won’t get it to budge. Good to know how to get off and walk away.

That being brave, taking small calculated steps, can master the narrowest, most uncertain path up and down – ramping up confidence and real pride of accomplishment (with admiration and applause a mere bonus).

Makes solid the cautions that when grounded in motion, best to look around for any potential unseen dangers that can be easily avoided.

Even those splinters. Tiny irritants make big trouble if ignored.

Play now or pay later.

Life in the balance.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

 Real bunny with Easter egg in a nest on his back. 1906 postcard. (Special Collections Toronto Pub.Lib. Canada/USPD,, artist life/

Balance is basic – or you might end up with a mess between the ears and egg on your face.(1906 postcard.USPD/



  1. easyweimaraner / Apr 2 2018 6:30 am

    maybe we humans are so often out of balance because we walk on two feet? maybe we should use all 4 paws to become a little more solid?

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 2 2018 1:20 pm

      And not have to worry about clean paws at meal times with less processing/cooking of food – fewer dishes, too! Yep, could make the work much more balanced
      Thanks for running by with a pawfect observation


  2. ShimonZ / Apr 2 2018 6:47 am

    A fine bit of free thinking this time… and an excellent illustration as well

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 2 2018 1:17 pm

      Remember that old “reap what you sow?” Should people re-examine what sort of childhood kids have now – while they are wondering why all the violence and children in despair/depression. Can’t turn back time, but maybe not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Glad you enjoyed the pictures – vintage postcards are so intriguing. Thanks for joining the playground and leaving a comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • ShimonZ / Apr 2 2018 2:41 pm

        It’s hard to fight culture. Do American boys still expect a toy 6 shooter at Christmas?

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 2 2018 3:04 pm

          ? Maybe that request was a popular one in ’40’s-’50’s or maybe that’s a regional/Hollywood impression. Outdated idea in any case. Gun toting cowboys are gone with the wind…maybe you’re imagining rapper/gang culture of some areas?
          Computers and game consoles probably high on the list now.
          Does look like young kids don’t really do well raised in herds…not a popular observation. Good shepherds are hard to find.


          • ShimonZ / Apr 3 2018 7:01 am

            Good to hear. I visited your country in the 50s and 60s, and my impressions stayed with me. I imagine that the country has changed much since then.

            Liked by 1 person

          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 3 2018 7:33 am

            Along with the geological features, the country varies greatly in traditions, customs, and attitudes by region and state. Hollywood makes everyone think the whole place is the Wild West.
            By the 60’s children’s toys were being scrutinized for the messages they sent and the attitudes boys and girls acquired from play. Nobody really screamed at a kid pointing a stick pretending it was a gun, yet, but parents were already making the shift. (But they should have continued yelling at kids “Never point a ‘gun’ even a play one at another person” and “Always consider a ‘gun’ loaded and ready to fire” Just needs to become basic knowledge and habit no matter what.)
            Surprisingly those who grew up with the old Lone Ranger and Roy Roger cowboy series may have loved cowboys, but were taught solid social values by those shows. You notice neither of those cowboy heroes killed people even though they carried guns – and looked for other ways to solve problems. Bad guys – those who made bad choices did get face consequences and punishment. Check out the Lone Ranger Creed and Code of Honor “Written as a guide on how to live a life of goodness, fairness, and decency” It explains why he wears a mask, too.
            Wouldn’t hurt if kids were exposed to more like this even now? Might balance some of the questionable rap and gangsta lyrics, videos, and lifestyle?
            Even better turn it all off, go outside, and play


          • ShimonZ / Apr 4 2018 2:23 am

            thanks for the link to the Lone Ranger creed and background information. I had never seen any of those programs, and so had heard of him as a legend but didn’t know much about him. The description I read was surprisingly positive. It reminded me that I did see quite a few ‘western’ movies in the 50s; cowboy movies I think they were called in America. And it was my impression that they were in fact morality tales. And often presented sophisticated dilemmas. I suppose that many of the people who support easy access to guns are motivated by similar positive attitudes towards justice and freedom. Unfortunately, as our world becomes more crowded we have to relearn what can work and what can make life pleasant in an ever changing society.


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 4 2018 9:50 am

            There were John Wayne “Westerns”(movies) and later (60’s? During the “Few Dollars More” era) what was call “Spaghetti Westerns” (because many of those “sophisticated” ones with more modern characters and themes were made in Italy instead of the western US). Really opposites in plots, character developments and themes. (Ah the university days of late night discussions contrasting and comparing movie styles and philosophies)
            Films and literature reflect their times for sure.
            Lone Ranger, Sky King, Run Tin Tin, Roy Rogers – basic kid fare for most during those previous times (Of course everyone knew that Tonto/Jay Silverheels was the smart one – the strong silent type – he was smart one who spoke 2 languages and he always offered common sense and logic. ( )
            Oh, almost forgot Gene Autry ( He and Roy Rogers were the singing cowboys – who always managed find an excuse to burst into song – that used to amuse many who never saw anyone working cattle carrying a guitar… But Roy Rogers’ show was cooler as Dale Evans was also a main character…a woman who was smart/could run a business, ride a horse, and catch the bad guys as well as Roy – really independent and self reliant – although I wasn’t fond of her full fringed skirt.
            Maybe on the East Coast the westerns weren’t as popular – maybe Superman and Lois Lane (an early career woman making it in a man’s world, too…hmmm) were the favorites. Similar themes and characters.
            There’s some “vintage” show channels here that still show these, and series videos on line so some still like these shows for their kids. Influences now are wide and varied. Balance is always leveling.


  3. Kate Crimmins / Apr 2 2018 6:54 am

    Loved seesaws but my companion always ditched me when I was up in the air for the swings. Wap! Talk about getting grounded fast! I was never good at those trust exercises. Must be my years of see-saw.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 2 2018 1:02 pm

      You couldn’t even get out a yelp before hitting the ground if the one opposite hopped off quickly. (It’s like Peanut’s Lucy and the football …you always believed when they promised…HAHA)
      Thanks for adding a balancing comment

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carrie Rubin / Apr 2 2018 7:04 am

    “Play now or pay later”—I love that line. So simple and yet so meaningful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. shoreacres / Apr 2 2018 7:28 am

    And then there’s the shortest, sometimes most important dialogue in the world. “Did you see?” “I saw.”


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 2 2018 12:56 pm

      Are seesaws’ warning like that famous urban myth “You’ll shoot your eye out” ? Never knew anyone who actually knocked their teeth out. But they were constantly warning about it. Sigh. we lived dangerously (and lived to tell about it)
      Thanks for playing around here

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amy / Apr 2 2018 8:15 am

    “Seesaws are dress rehearsals for life.” What more needs said?

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 2 2018 12:52 pm

      Old fashioned playground equipment would be a lot more comfortable now that all kids can wear shorts or pants, not just the boys. Oh, the splinters and hot metal…
      Thanks for swinging by with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  7. markbialczak / Apr 2 2018 12:10 pm

    See saws do teach how to scootch up or down just the right amount to make things right, Phil.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. aFrankAngle / Apr 2 2018 2:44 pm

    Balance in life is a huge undertaking, never ending, and relevant in all aspects of life. Whew! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 2 2018 3:06 pm

      Gotta start somewhere – small and easy to feel is always good. Thanks for teetering on the ledge and leaving a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Anne Mehrling / Apr 2 2018 3:34 pm

    This was a well-balanced post! I can’t remember being dumped. Hope I wasn’t the dumpee.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 2 2018 4:27 pm

      It was a kinder and more considerate time then…or you had very big siblings standing near 🙂
      Thanks for bouncing buy with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  10. LordBeariOfBow / Apr 2 2018 4:15 pm

    I never ever thought of a see-saw in such a light, thank you for opening these tired old eyes,and seeing something that should have been staring me in the face for the last — years

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 2 2018 4:35 pm

      It’s a wonder how simple is so important sometimes. Things that do the most good are often almost invisible. Everyone outside to play! Thanks for playing along

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ally Bean / Apr 3 2018 5:48 am

    I have lots of childhood memories of see saws– both as she who was dumped [ouch] and she who unceremoniously dumped someone else [my bad]. Playing on teeter-totters, as we called them, taught me about negotiations and power. Also, they were just plain fun. Great post.


  12. Littlesundog / Apr 3 2018 2:09 pm

    GAH!! You just had to mention see saws! I think those might be responsible for the headaches I still suffer from at times… the jolt from being dumped. Then there are the trust issues. I mean, a person learns real fast about who can’t be trusted when entering the teeter-totter zone. Life is indeed about finding balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 3 2018 3:48 pm

      Free range kids learn quickly. (I remember you had to not be fooled when the other person said “Let’s put our feet up on the board”….too often there would be a quick jump off from that side resulting in a very hard landing for you. Grrrrr. Game often quickly changed to chase….)
      Thanks for balancing along

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Curt Mekemson / Apr 3 2018 4:29 pm

    One can even throw in a little science. I believe it was Archimedes who said ‘give me a fulcrum and I can move the world.” Even the biggest and heaviest person can be moved if he is properly placed. I, for one, can’t resist see saws to this very day, Phil. Peggy and I climb on when ever we see one. At Burning Man, they some times have huge see saws that take you high up into the air and even rotate! –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 3 2018 5:25 pm

      Science is play! Hands on (or seats on) learning. HAHA
      Back in the farm country, people used to make Spinning Ginnys which basically were a large timber/chopped off telephone pole with two sturdy long boards/timbers placed like an “X” on top with a giant bolt into the upright pole. The “X” would rotate around like a merry-go-round. You could get going really fast on it if someone ran along side or at one end and pushed….just watch for splinters, fingers near the bolt, and getting pitched off by centrifugal force. Maybe not as safe as some modern playgrounds, but lots of fun. People need to remember all those for many reason, right?
      Thanks for swooping in with a comment


      • Curt Mekemson / Apr 5 2018 11:07 am

        We got thrown off of one of those at Burning Man. It was going really fast! Luckily, there were only bruises and a few scrapes! And, yes, Phil, we do need to remember the playgrounds of yore, whether they were organized as such or not!


  14. My Ox is a Moron / Apr 4 2018 1:22 pm

    I love reading your posts. You have such wonderful insights.

    I have always believed that the simple toys and games taught the most profound lessons. While it is difficult today to allow our children to free-range, I was fortunate enough to live in a close knit neighborhood when my youngest child was small. We knew every adult within 3 blocks and so did she. She could walk to school and the park with friends. They could play in our cul-de-sac riding bikes, skateboards, and scooters in the street. One summer, my daughter and a group of friends had free roam of our corner of the neighborhood. Backyard gates, sprinklers, trampolines, climbing trees and other old-fashioned summer activities were the norm for 3 months. I have not seen happier children. We had to call around to each parent to find the children, but they followed the rules and never went anywhere else without parental knowledge.

    The point of this? My daughter learned more about social interaction, personal responsibility, the give-and-take of friendship, and trust that summer than at any other time. Her older siblings were happy for her and jealous at the same time. I think, as adults, we forget that the most important lessons are learned through the simple games and activities we participated in as children.


  15. memoirsofahusk / Apr 6 2018 8:58 am

    ‘I saw Esau sitting on a see-saw’. Skipping game. So many memories evoked by playground things – did you have umbrellas in your playgrounds?
    As someone else remarked, you have a gift for the oblique angle on things (well that’s how I’m interpreting it) and so often when I pop by for a wonder, you give me a ‘oh, of course’ moment! Balance. Of course.


  16. The Hook / Apr 8 2018 6:26 am

    Sadly, this world has been out of balance for as long as I’ve been alive.
    Or maybe I just don’t recognize the factors keeping the world from spinning completely out of control?


  17. Roxie / Apr 9 2018 9:28 am

    More truth revealed, thanksPhil! when one is up, the other is down. Oh the work it takes on so many levels to balance and all benefit.
    Lessons learned in play.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 9 2018 4:19 pm

      A simple but widely applicable analogy it seems. (Hope you and yours are snug and warm – what a winter!) Thanks for playing along

      Liked by 1 person

      • Roxie / Apr 9 2018 5:20 pm

        Snug for sure, always fun word play at your place!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. RKLikesReeses / Apr 13 2018 1:29 pm

    Beautiful. Beautiful!


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