Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Itchy Bitchy Spider

June was enumerating the books she can "read".* In her enumerations, she included "Itchy Bitchy Spider". For a micro-second I was startled, perhaps even outraged, for though "Itchy Bitchy Spider" might be an excellent book in its own right, it hardly seems like appropriate reading material for a five-year-old.

Then the parsing-context-clues-and-assembling-plausible-meanings part of my brain caught up with the turning-raw-sounds-into-elemental-strings-of-words part, and it occurred to me that June probably meant "Itsy Bitsy Spider", and I could throw the shocked-letter-to-the-teacher I was mentally composing into the mental trash can.

But still, it made me curious, how would that go?
"The itchy bitchy spider crawled up..."
* "Read" here is being used in the expansive sense often employed by pre-literate children, meaning "recite from memory while looking at the book and turning the pages, creating an external semblance of what is more conventionally considered to be 'actual' reading".


  1. Itchy Bitchy Spider is now my favorite book ever.

  2. Anonymous3:12 PM

    June is right-on. I have known a number of bitchy spiders in my life.

  3. thanks man. I really needed some giggles today. I'm hearing / seeing this tale set in a decadent german Kurt Weil type burlesque
    "zee itchy bitchy schpider vent up zee vater schpout"