This morning we received one of our toughest meebo questions yet: Where (or how) did the practice of girls jumping out of cakes originate? The Reference Department put on their collective noggin caps and did some serious thinking. We finally remembered the nursery rhyme Sing a Song of Sixpence which contains the line "4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie." The Mississippi Library Commission actually has a book called Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme, which describes the history of certain childhood rhymes. According to this book, "the notion of people jumping out of food dishes did not come along until the reign of Queen Anne."
How exciting! It seemed that we were definitely on the right track! Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion to the mystery of the miniature cake people.
Roberts, Chris. Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme. Thorndike Press, 2004.