“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,
“’Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I’ve a many curious things to show when you are there.”
Mary Howitt wrote 180 books with her husband, and was a friend of Wordsworth and Dickens, but is remembered perhaps most of all for her children’s parable about insects, written in 1828. She forsook her ardent Quaker roots sometime after moving to Rome where she became a Catholic, less because of the Latin atmosphere and more for her admiration of Pope Leo XIII and his social commentaries. She admitted that she loved the pope and not the papacy.
Combine her spider and fly with our Lord’s admonitions about sheep among wolves, and serpentine cleverness with dovelike innocence, and you have a whole menagerie as commentary on naiveté. It is possible to make all the tragedies of the modern age a montage of the perils of unwitting ignorance in the face of evil….Read entire article here: crisismagazine.com/2018/a-nursery-rhyme-pope-francis-would-do-well-to-read